Pravin Kumar, Vizag’s District Collector announced that the issues about land with Andhra University that were marring AP government’s ambitious TU-142 museum project have finally been resolved. He added that the project that is supposed to come up at Beach Road will soon become a reality.
According to him, the state government was busy holding negotiations with Andhra University to grant them the 1 acre land, which is located quite close to their convention center. The university has finally agreed to this and has cleared the request. He said that AU would be a partner in the tourism project with Vishakhapatnam Urban Development Authority being a stakeholder.
The TU-142, which is 54 meters long and has a wingspan of about 50 meters, used to be a long range maritime aircraft that specialized in detection and destruction of submarines.
The District Collector said that the aircraft will soon be transformed into a museum and will be placed right next to the submarine museum Kursura, with the apt theme named “the hunter and the hunted”. He said that a war memorial and a sound and light show will also be a part of this museum. According to him this is the first time ever that an aircraft museum and a submarine museum will be placed besides each other.
The aircraft has to be dismantled into 30 different pieces before it is transported to Beach Road where it will be assembled again. According to a naval officer, at least 10 trucks will be required for the transportation of these pieces to the proposed site.
It is believed that the mere cost of dismantling the aircraft would be about INR 2crores to INR 3 crores with the estimated cost of the project coming up to INR 10 crores.
A private firm that had submitted a tender has already been hired to dismantle, transport and assemble the aircraft. The work for this has already started. According to Pravin Kumar, their target is to get the museum ready by 15th August such that they can get it inaugurated by the CM on Independence Day this year.
TU-142 was inducted into the Indian Naval Services in the year 1988. Following its completion of 29 years of service with more than 30000 flying hours, it was finally decommissioned this year and was handed over to the Andhra Pradesh government on 8th April. The state government has been planning to convert it into an aircraft museum and place it near Kursura, the submarine museum. However, the project was delayed due to certain land issues.