Rama Setu: committee chairman is biased

Sethu project: panel sees no major environmental change

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Monitoring Committee on Environmental Impact Issues of the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project has found no major environmental change due to dredging in the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar.

After review of the ecological impact by the reconstituted panel here on Monday, its chairman S. Ramachandran said a stringent monitoring system was in place ever since dredging started in July 2006. Water, sedimentation, noise and air quality were being monitored every four hours and eight hours, on a weekly and monthly basis and across various seasons. “The monitoring has established that there is no major change in environment. Even the minor changes reported were well within the natural variability,” Prof. Ramachandran said. “There is an increase in fish catch. Hence, the fear of environmentalists is not substantiated. Scientific monitoring has proved that the changes are insignificant.”

Denying the allegation that improper dumping of dredged sand had led to grounding of fish boats, Prof. Ramachandran said the dumping was being carried out away from the shore. He attributed the grounding of boats to changes in the seabed following the tsunami.

On the charge that the sea was remaining rough for a longer period due to the dredging, he said it was due to climatic changes triggered by global warming.

On Ramar Sethu

Prof. Ramachandran said the Adam’s Bridge was a natural phenomenon and that only 0.5 per cent of the land mass (300 metres) was being dredged.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thscrip/print.pl?file=2007073160540800.htm&date=2007/07/31/&prd=th&

‘No environmental changes due to SSCP’

Madurai, July 30: No major changes have been observed in the marine environment due to work on the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project in the Bay of Bengal, the reconstituted monitoring committee on environmental issues said today.

Committee chairman, Prof. S Ramachandran told reporters after discussions with scientists, historians and engineers that the minor changes found were within permissible limits and would also occur naturally.

“The environment impact is being monitored very closely on an hourly basis. In the last 22 months I can with certainty say that the fish catch has improved and the variety of fish coming to Gulf of Mannar also has increased,” he said.

He refuted the charge of fishermen that their boats were were getting stuck in the area as silt dredged from the sea was not being dumped in the designated sites and said the debris was being dumped in 25 foot deep sea The existence of sand dunes could be due to the impact of Tsunami.

“Those opposed to the project have not substantiated their claims on the environmental impact while we have proved there is no impact. Besides dredging is going on around the world in various places and there is no harmful impact,” he said.

Ramchandran said the fish population would not be affected even after the channel was dug, as oil tankers and ships laden with chemicals would not be allowed to pass through the area. “The sea will be monitored till the SSCP is over and even after that,” he said. (Agencies)

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3 Responses to Rama Setu: committee chairman is biased

  1. T.C.Govindan says:

    Prof.Ramachandran has made similar statements in the documentary film shown on Raj TV a few days ago. In today’s TNIE,dt Oct.17th, on pg 7 there is a report titled ‘Lankan Navy loots prawns of TN fishermen’. Whether this loot is done by the Lankan navy or disguised LTTE men, is a questionable/debatable point. The fact is the statement of the fishermen that “they were already affected by a fall in the catch and they were being driven to desperation.” Since the convenor of the Committee Prof Ramachandran himself is not an expert on these matters and he is working with a fixed mind-set, it is obvious that he will not be ‘open’ to even expert opinions. Moreover,the Committee consists mainly of biased people like communists and DMK men,who cannot be expected to be impartial. The most important thing here is that they are not experts in this field.Hence we should all state these reasons and openly convey our decision to boycott the Committee.

  2. RP Shahi says:

    I fully endurs Mr T.C.Govindan’s view. All the memebrs of committees constituted by the Govt is by and large biased one. The members are selected not on the basis of their knowledge in that field but due to their close ness to the Govt. Its only natural that they report the same feelings.

    Why there is no open debate or independent study on the Ram Setu! I think there are enough non Govt funded people to do research on this type of issues.

  3. CHANDERAN says:

    i fully endorsed t.c govindans view… ramachandran become v.c a the mercy of this
    so called dravidians … he will tell only lies… he doesnt have any capacity to
    lead such committe….
    GENUINE PEOPLES VIEW THIS GOVT WONT RESPECT…IN THIS ISSUE…
    SINCE HUGE MONEY INVOVED IN THIS PROJECT TO LOOT BY THESE
    PEOPLE…

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