Centre to go ahead with current Setu route
Union Minister for Shipping and Road Transport T R Baalu says project can’t be implemented with alternative alignmentPosted On Sunday, September 23, 2007 PTI Chennai: Asserting that the Centre would go ahead with the present alignment of the Setusamudram Canal Project after convincing the Supreme Court, Union Minister for Shipping and Road Transport T R Baalu on Saturday said the project could not be implemented with any alternative alignment.
Replying to a question on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s remarks that the DMK’s stand was to implement the SSCP and not to demolish the Ram Sethu, Baalu clarified that those remarks did not mean that Karunanidhi was for an alternative alignment.
He said his leader’s remarks were out of anguish to clarify that the party’s intention was to carry out a developmental project and not to demolish the Adam’s bridge. The minister said he did not see any such thing as “Ram Setu” and he knew only Adam’s bridge, which was a structure formed of sand shoals and such structures existed in many parts of the world.
It was the BJP-led government which approved the present alignment in October 2002.
The fourth alignment being advocated by the party was rejected on April 8, 1999, by the then Union Minister for Environment Suresh Prabhu as it would have had “serious environmental implications with respect to marine life and bio-sphere reserve.”
The project report on SSCP, submitted to the then Union Minister Arun Jaitley, had clearly stated that the proposed route would orignate from the Gulf of Mannar and extend towards east and further north-east of Pamban Island and cut through the Adam’s bridge.
Accepting the alignment, then Union Minister Thirunavukkarasar suggested a depth of seven metres, while another Minister V P Goel suggested more than nine metres.
The UPA government was only going ahead with an alignment chosen by the BJP, he said. Now, the BJP was trying to incite “communal riots” to gain political mileage in the Gujarat assembly elections, he said, adding the party would not succeed in its attempts. It was not proper to oppose a development project for political gains, he said adding he was ready to talk with religious heads and BJP leaders on the issue.http://tinyurl.com/yo46l6 Sept. 11, 2007 Destruction status as of Sept. 6, 2007
When the metro line in Delhi was re-routed, it was said that vibrations would cause damage to Qutub Minar.
When dredging is done in 35 kms. stretch of what is referred to as ‘Adam’s bridge’ or ‘North of Adam’s bridge’ in the sethusamudram.gov.in website, such work is likely to damage Rama setu, the physical structure on the geological feature stretching 35 kms.
The interim injunction related to not touching Rama Setu/Adam’s Bridge should be made absolute and refer to the entire work segment of Rama Setu whether it is north or south of Rama Setu.
The “Report on geological and geotechnical assessment of the subsea strata for the proposed Sethusamudram Channel Project” clearly concludes that Rama Setu is a man-made formation. This report can be summoned by the SC.
Since 7 Sept. 2007, the webpage http://sethusamudram.gov.in/ProjectStatus.asp table has been reworded as ‘North of Adam’s Bridge B-C Stretch’. Prior to this date, it was merely called ‘Adam’s Bridge’
The status of destruction of Rama Setu is depicted as follows as of 6 Sept. 2007:
______ Total Dredging Quantity – 4,80,50,000 cum
______ Dredged Quantity – 11560261 cum till 6/9/2007
(Dredging is carried out only in north of Adams Bridge area)
This is suggestio falsi, suppressio veri apparently to mislead and misinform the Hon’ble Court . Expert opinion should be sought to determine the effects of dredging on so-called B-C Stretch on the physical structure of Rama Setu. Until such expert study is conducted, there should be an injunction on any work north or south of Rama Setu.
The following is the progress on the other segment called Palk Bay/ Palk Strait E -E4 Stretch:
E ( Palk Bay/Palk Strait) E4
______ Total Dredging Quantity – 3,45,00,000 cum
______ Dredged Quantity – 14819417 cum till 6/9/2007
Sept. 4, 2007 Destruction status – 23. 74% (dredged quantity: 114,06,605 cum)
Sept. 3, 2007 Destruction status – 23.58% (dredged quantity: 113,30,641
Aug. 27, 2007 Destruction status — 22.53% (dredged quantity: 108,26,126 cu.m.)
Aug 2, 2007 destruction status: 19.46% dredged quantity: 9350219 cum till 2/8/2007
This, despite the Madras HC order of 19 June, 2007 and SC order of 30 August 2007:
Madras HC order: “We are not inclined to grant interim relief at this stage, as it would hamper further work in the project. However, we leave it to the Union of India to decide whether the actual cutting of Adams Bridge/Rama Sethu could be postponed till the issues involved in these petitions are considered by this Court.”
SC order: “Till September 14, the alleged Rama Sethu/Adam’s bridge shall not be damaged in any manner. Dredging activity may be carried out so long as it does not damage Rama Sethu.”
SC asked GOI to respond to Madras HC orders of 19 June 2007. Continued dredging in Adam’s bridge segment is GOI’s response to Court’s orders?
Length of the channel in various section is as under:-
G-A 4.37 kms.
A-B 17.3 kms.
B-C 13.38 kms.
C-D 37.44 kms.
D-E 40.48 kms.
E-E4 54.25 kms.
Palk Bay (towards Bay of Bengal side) has bathymetry (depths) of upto 20 m. and hence, dredging not needed/already completed.