Rama Setu: is 70% of channel in place?

http://www.dinakaran.co.in/epaperdinakaran/12102007/dn_121007_e1_06_cni.jpg

Source: Dinakaran Tamil daily, Oct. 12, 2007

Give Ram talk in Delhi, Jaya to CM

Chennai, Oct. 11: AIADMK leader Ms Jayalalithaa has alleged that chief minister M. Karunanidhi has compromised the security of Tamils living in the north by his anti-Ram remarks. She dared him to speak ill of Lord Ram at a public meeting in Delhi, even offering to pick up his travel bills if he volunteered.

“Karunanidhi has not visited Delhi in recent times only because he is aware his remarks have angered the people in the north and they are now looking at the Tamils there with contempt and also castigating him because of his anti-Ram remarks,” the former chief minister said in a hard-hitting statement here on Thursday.

“It is only because his party is in power here and he enjoys the protection of the police that Karunanidhi was emboldened to insult Lord Ram. Does he have the courage to make these remarks at a public meeting in Delhi? If he is ready, my party is prepared to bear his travel expenses,” she said. She accused Mr Karunanidhi of ignoring the many pressing issues concerning the people, such as rising prices, while being obsessed with making one statement after another on the doomed Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project. “This project is a closed chapter and is not going to be completed. He is aware of that and even the Centre has pulled back its burnt fingers giving an assurance to the Supreme Court that it will defer the project implementation” Ms Jayalalithaa said, adding that Mr Karunanidhi was unable to oppose this Central move.

She said the Sethu project had been rushed through without making proper geological and economical feasibility studies. Since the channel depth had been designed to be mere 12 metres, only small ships of less than 30,000 DWT would be able to use it. “But then, the trend in the shipping industry at present is to build massive ships of more than 1.5 lakh DWT,” she said.

She also charged the Centre with plodding on with the project in a slipshod manner and wasting crores of rupees in the process only because of ‘pressure’ from Mr Karunanidhi. Referring to the Union shipping minister T. R. Baalu’s claim that 70 per cent of the dredging had been completed already, Ms Jalayalalithaa demanded that he should come out with details of the length, depth and other dimensions of the dredging done so far. “Are they prepared to demonstrate the claim by running a ship in that area? If so, the AIADMK MPs and MLAs are prepared to undertake the voyage. Scientists and media persons are also ready to join the cruise,” she added.

http://www.deccan.com/chennaichronicle/City/CityNews.asp?#Give Ram talk in Delhi, Jaya to CM

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