Maharashtra govt wants to sink warship, create artificial reef to draw tourists

MUMBAI: As part of an ambitious project to draw tourists to the Konkan coast bordering Goa, the Maharashtra government is planning to sink an old warship off the Sindhudurg coast, thus converting it into an artificial reef for divers.

Maharashtra govt wants to sink warship, create artificial reef to draw tourists

The INS Ganga was decommissioned earlier this year by the Navy.

editorial@tribune.com

Shiv Kumar

Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 15

As part of an ambitious project to draw tourists to the Konkan coast bordering Goa, the Maharashtra government is planning to sink an old warship off the Sindhudurg coast, thus converting it into an artificial reef for divers.

Vinita Vaid Singal, Secretary, Tourism, has broached the idea of sinking the recently-decommissioned INS Ganga in a letter to Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh. The warship was decommissioned by the Indian Navy earlier this year.

In her letter, Singal states that the sunken ship could become an underwater habitat or artificial reef, and thus an underwater tourism destination attracting scuba divers.

Sindhudurg houses the Indian Institute of Scuba Diving and Aquatic Sports, which according to the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), is one of the largest scuba diving schools in the Asia-Pacific region.

Under a plan to turn Sindhudurg into a major tourist destination, an airport has already been completed here and a coastal road between Mumbai and Goa which passes through the region is under construction.

MTDC officials say they are in the process of linking the coastal road to a number of tourist attractions like temples, beaches and places of historical interest in order to draw tourists.

Singal, in her letter, stated that the proposed artificial reef would help create thousands of jobs in the region.

The Maharashtra government had earlier identified a spot off the coast of Sindhudurg for constructing an artificial reef at a depth of 35 metres. The proposal was kept pending as the cost was considered prohibitive. he sinking of a warship off Sindhudurg is seen as a cheaper option, according to sources.

Plan to help create employment in region

In a letter to Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh,  Vinita Vaid Singal, Secretary, Tourism, has said the sunken ship could become an underwater habitat or artificial reef, and thus an underwater tourism destination attracting scuba divers. The proposed artificial reef would help create thousands of jobs.

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