Mumbai, Nov 21:
India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, which saw action during the 1971 India-Pakistan war but has now been decommissioned, is finally being broken up.
The process, which started Thursday with the first blow hammered on its front portion, is expected to be completed within seven-eight months, its owner said here Friday.
The once-majestic aircraft carrier was bought in an e-auction by Mumbai-based IB Commercials Ltd., its director and now the ship’s owner Abdul Karim Jaka said here.
“A team of around 200 people has been deployed to dismantle and break down the ship after we completed all legal and technical formalities and secured all requisite clearances from the agencies concerned,” Jaka told IANS from the breaking yard at Powder Bunder in southeast Mumbai.
Formerly known the HMS Hercules, it was bought by India in 1957 and commissioned in the Indian Navy Feb 16, 1959. It was decommissioned Jan 31, 1997.
The ship – which saw a lot of action during many wars – was laid Oct 14, 1943, and launched in 1945.
The 71-year-old vessel is finally being broken down for its tough steel and other valuable components.