Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has described the TU-142 Aircraft Museum as a “Deepavali gift” to the people of the city.
The naval maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft has a glorious history having served the nation for 29 years, including participation in the Kargil war and other operations.
The Chief Minister unveiled a plaque to mark the foundation for the Aircraft Museum coming up on Beach Road in the presence of Vice Admiral H.C.S. Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command; Deputy Chief Minister N. Chinarajappa; Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya; HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao; Anakapalle MP Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao; MLAs and MLCs; and officials on Tuesday.
The fighter aircraft has been placed on the specially erected platform. A greater part of the work has also been completed.
The Chief Minister, accompanied by the ENC Chief and others, went into the aircraft and spent quite sometime inside.
Later, addressing a gathering, Mr. Naidu said the aircraft was one of the best in the world, which had been designed by the erstwhile Soviet Union. It was decommissioned on May 28 this year after clocking 30,000 km, he said.
“It will continue to inspire youth and arouse patriotic fervour among them,” Mr. Naidu said, and underlined the need for the future generations to know about the role played by the aircraft.
The Aircraft Museum, along with the Kursura Submarine Museum located just across it, would contribute to the promotion of tourism further, he observed.
President to inaugurate
Mr. Naidu said the remaining works would be completed in the next few months. President Ram Nath Kovind would inaugurate it in December this year, he said.
Co-Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates would come to Visakhapatnam next month, and many more national and international meets would be held in the city to promote tourism, he added.
Vice Admiral Bisht described the TU-142, which has four engines and eight propellers, as the “most formidable” in the world. The aircraft, inducted into the service in 1988, had an accident-free service. It was dismantled into 50 parts, transported to the Beach Road, and re-assembled in six months. He described the site chosen by the State government to position the aircraft as the most appropriate, and said it would boost tourism.
‘INS Virat too for city’
Ms. Akhila Priya said Visakhapatnam had immense tourist potential.
“INS Virat will also be brought here soon. A sum of ₹1,000 crore will be spent on it to promote it as a tourist attraction,” she said.
VUDA Vice-Chairman Basant Kumar said the Aircraft Museum would have an aerobridge, lift, a coffee shop, and simulation games.