Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Dec 2018 12:20:46










HAVING failed to find any buyers for the heavily indebted Air India (AI) in its last attempt, the Government is now embarking on another remedy to tide over the situation by selling off some assets of the national carrier. There is no choice either. The Government is obviously desperate to sell off the loss-making airliner and it has no better way than to retire as much debt as it can to prepare ground for another attempt at finding suitors for the ailing public sector behemoth. Last time the Rs. 58,000 crore debt burden that AI carried had dissuaded buyers from coming forward. The Government is naturally tired of pumping money year after year through budgetary provision and keep AI alive and kicking. The Government now proposes to sell off some of the prime properties belonging to Air India in Mumbai and Delhi and hopes to mop up around Rs. 9000 crore. Earlier, the Government had also decided on strategic sale of AI’s ground handling services. Government hopes these measures will make the AI attractive to prospective buyers.



WHILE there have been proposals to convert Indian Navy’s decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat into a tourism hub or a museum, the statement by Western Naval Command Chief Vice Admiral Girish Luthra that “only dignified activities will be permitted there” comes with a loaded message to the interested parties. The point Vice Admiral Luthra is making must be taken with a pinch of salt by the administrators as well as the populace. Many places of historic and archaeological importance in India have fallen victim to the pathetic civic sense of tourists, who waste no opportunity to deface or dirty the structures. Turning INS Viraat into a tourism hub entails a lot of serious considerations. First and foremost is preserving the sanctity of the oldest warship. Merely making it a tool for commercial gains will be a grave attack on the dignity of INS Viraat. Any laxity in securing the decommisisoned warship’s historic importance by irresponsible tourism will be dishonouring the Indian Navy.