Rama Setu: channel dug in the sea uprecedented, says Hon’ble TR Baalu
That’s precisely the point. Setuchannel is unlike the Suez or Panama Canals and hence channel as a mid-ocean passage, was NOT recommended by Sir A Ramaswamy Mudaliar Committee in 1956, a recommendation approved by four subsequent committees. All alternative alignments are land-based canals either through Mandapam, near Pamban gap or near Dhanushkodi.
How stable will the mid-ocean channel passage be? How will a grounded ship be salvaged in the mid-ocean and what cost?
Why not deepen the existing Pamban gap? Why not choose any of the five alignments (considered since 1956) which would not damage Rama Setu? Rama Setu is an ancient monument, a world heritage which has saved the coastline from tsunami and cyclones and has contributed to the accumulation of placer deposits of titanium and thorium minerals? Will the unprecedented channel dent this process of sustaining the strategic minerals and expose the coastline to risk of devastation by tsunami-s or cyclones?
What will be dented are the hurt sentiments of millions of people who revere Setubandha as a heritage monument, a world heritage remembering vigrahavaan dharmah, Sri Rama, the very embodiment of dharma as a son, as a husband, as a ruler, an abiding memory of the protector of dharma.
Does the nation want to experiment with an untried mid-ocean channel passage and expose the coastline integrity to great risks? Who should decide? The Minister or a committee of multi-disciplinary experts?
It is so easy to indulge in suppressio veri and suggestio falsi. It is also necessary to ask the questions about sovereignty of the nation, without succumbing to pressures to create an international waters boundary between Bharatam and Srilanka, and hope that someone will care to answer and also to incorporate tsunami protection walls as Japan has done, in case another tsunami or cyclone strikes the coastline of Bharatam.
Sethu project unprecedented, says Baalu
Saturday August 4 2007 11:03 IST (New Indian Express)
DINDIGUL: The Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project is unprecedented in world marine history as this was the project where a canal is being dug in the sea itself.
The Panama and Suez Canals were constructed by dredging the land mass but the Sethusamudram canal is being formed by dredging the sea itself, Union Minister for Highways and Shipping T R Baalu said here on Thursday.
The Minister, who was here to inspect the ongoing work in the four-laning of the National Highway project between Salem and Dindigul, told journalists that there was overwhelming support for the project from all sections of the people.
But some persons are opposing it for political reasons. It does not matter if they do not support such a popular project but they could at least desist from conducting unwanted agitations to hinder the implementation of the project.
There were some persons who were objecting to the project in the name of Ramar Sethu bridge. Such protests would only encourage those in-charge of the project and resolve to complete it even before the due date.
It was true that the dredging equipment in the vessel was damaged. But the engineers in Kochi port repaired it and the work commenced with only a delay of 41 days.
Foreign dredging companies quoted exorbitant amounts for the work but the dredging work is now being carried out by local technicians at a fraction of the cost. The project would be completed on schedule before December 2008, Baalu added.
Work on Sethusamudhram project going on unhindered, says Baalu Special Correspondent SALEM: Despite facing a few technical hardships, the dredging works of the Sethusamudhram Shipping Canal Project were going on unhindered, said Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T. R. Baalu.Refusing to explain in detail “the nature of hardships” which the project is facing, the minister said no one could disturb a development project, cleared by the Union Government and passed on the floor of Parliament. “The Sethu project is a nation’s project. And it is a national pride,” Mr. Baalu said.Dismissing the charges of a few political outfits that dredging the Adams Bridge would destroy the ancient ‘Ramar Sethu’, the minister said on Thursday that the project was being executed after a thorough scientific studies. Those who claimed it as the ‘Heritage site’ today, happened to be the people who actually evolved and cleared it. “It is their study on alignment we follow today,” the minister claimed. He said no organisation had declared it as the heritage site. No government in the past, including the BJP-led NDA Government that took up the preliminary works of the canal project, had declared the Adam Bridge as a heritage site. Scientific studies, he claimed, had confirmed that the bridge was made of sand deposits and not of a man-made structure. “We have scientific evidences to prove it beyond doubt,” he said. Asked about the sudden two-month leave taken by the Tuticorin Port Trust Chairman and Chairman and Managing Director of Sethusamudhram Corporation Limited (SCL) N.K. Raghupathi, the minister said that it was taken purely for personal reasons. He (Mr. Raghupathy) said he had some 152 days of leave and wanted to avail it for personal reasons. It was just a routine administrative matter to which nothing should be attributed, he added. The Union Ministry of Shipping has asked the Chennai Port Trust Chairman to hold these additional charges.