Scrap Setu channel project, video of experts’ views

subramaniya-sami.gif Hindu Munnani founder Rama Gopalan releasing a CD on the viability of Sethu Samudram Ship Channel project. The same is received by Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy

Subramanian demands scrapping of Setu project

PTI |Chennai

Posted online: January 27, 2008 (Pioneer)

The Setusamudram project should be scrapped as it would not be beneficial to the Navy or international shipping agencies, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy said on Sunday.

Citing Naval chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta’s remarks last week that the SSCP would be useful only for small ships, he said that 95 per cent of ships in the world were huge, weighing more than 60,000 tonne.

As the Setusamudram canal would be only 12 meters deep, only ships weighing up to 30,000 tonnes could navigate through it. The project was economically unviable as both the Navy and international shipping agencies would not be able to use the canal, Swamy said.

The project, if it becomes operational, would incur a loss of Rs 3,000 crore every year, he claimed at a function here to launch a documentary film on the project titled Paalam (The bridge).

The 71-minute film, directed by filmmaker MR Jayakrishnan, had the views of various experts against the project.

Stating that Hinduism was facing a threat, Swamy said that any success in protecting the Ram Setu would signify the victory of Hinduism and mark its renaissance.

Swamy said that he would release a 200-page book on the Setusamduram project next month, which would dwell on its security, economical and environmental aspects. The book would also have compilation of various historical evidences for the existence of Lord Ram, he added.

Swamy wants Tuticorin made container terminal

Special Correspondent (The Hindu, 27 Jan. 2008)

CHENNAI: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy suggested on Sunday that Tuticorin be developed as a container port as an alternative to the Sethusamudram project, which, he claimed, would lead to a loss of Rs. 3,000 crore every year.

“If the State Government is particular about the economic development of the State and people’s welfare, let it convert Tuticorin as a container port and lay a broad-gauge line to Kolkata,” he said, receiving the first copy of ‘Palam,’ a documentary CD on Ramarsethu from Hindu Munnani founder Rama Gopalan.

Dr. Swami charged the State Government with making wrong projections about the Sethusamudram project. Only smaller vessels could pass through it, he said.

The 71-minute film features a map of the Palk Strait, film songs on Rama and interviews of politicians, retired port officials, fishermen, a former Sri Lanka MP and geologists. “This DVD presents both sides of the story. We have answered all the queries raised by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in his book, Sethu. This project is not economically viable and will not benefit any one,” he said.

Go for viable projects, Swamy tells TN govt

NT Bureau | Sun, 27 Jan, 2008 , 02:00 PM

Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy on Sunday demanded the government to go for economically more viable projects for the development of the country instead of trying to implement the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) adamantly.

Speaking at a function organised in Chennai to release a CD on SSCP, Swamy suggested that Tuticorin port be changed to be a container port and the railway broad gauge line between Tuticorin and Kolkata could be made as double way.

‘The cargo could well be on and offloaded at the Tuticorin port and it could be transported to Kolkata by rail which would be useful for the economic development of our country’, he said.

Pointing out the various setbacks on implementing SSCP, Swamy made reference to the recent directions of the Supreme Court on the conduct of jallikattu based on the Tamilnadu government’s stand of ‘hurting the religious sentiments of the people of a particular district’.

‘Then why not the same religious sentiments apply in Ram Sethu issue’, he wondered. Ram Sethu is the symbol of unity and hence it should not be disturbed on any account, he added.

Releasing the CD, Hindu Munnani founder Ramagopalan said that the Hindus must invite their folks to watch the CD to get the real picture on Ram Sethu since the audio visual presentation would make the public to understand the deeper meaning.

Subramanian Swamy voices concern over Sethusamudram

Chennai, Jan 28 (IANS) Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy Sunday dovetailed all popular concerns over the Sethusamudram – scientific, ecological, security and religious – at the launch of “Paalam” (Bridge), a film on dangers of continuing with the project.

M.R. Jayakrishnan has directed the 71-minute film, which lends voice to the concerns expressed on the much-debated project.

Citing statistics, Swamy slammed the project as “a danger to ecology and India’s defence”. He contested that nearly 95 percent of ocean-borne vessels have displacement weight exceeding 60,000 tonnes, which means only a few will benefit from the project.

“If this project becomes a reality, it will result in a Rs.3000 crore (Rs.30 billion) annual loss to the national exchequer and this amount will go up every year. This much is clear because the canal will have a depth of only 12 metres and it will be impossible for ships weighing more than 30,000 tonnes to cross it – meaning over 95 percent of the ships in the world cannot use it at all,” said Swamy.

Swamy claimed during the function that the chief of naval staff Admiral Suresh Mehta had expressed similar sentiments and had been ticked off by Union shipping minister T.R. Baalu “for speaking the truth”.

Taking up a religious theme, Swami said, “it is every Hindu’s duty to protect the ‘Ram Sethu’ because it means the religion’s renaissance”.

Swamy also had suggestions for the central government: “Instead of the canal, the government of India ought to create a 6-lane highway linking the ports of Kolkata and Tuticorin”.

The Janata Party president announced that a 200-page fact book on the project would be released next month.


Jayalalithaa demands Baalu’s dismissal

Chennai (PTI): AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Saturday demanded dismissal of Union Shipping Minister T R Baalu for writing a letter to Defence Minister A K Antony, describing as “unfortunate” Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta’s remarks on the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal (SSCP) project.

“In the letter, Baalu had asked Antony to direct Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta to withdraw his remarks on the SSCP, which is not proper,” she said in a statement here.

Mehta had said in Chennai last week that the SSCP was a “viable project but useful only for small ships and not for large ships plying on the international routes.”

Taking objection to Baalu’s letter to his cabinet colleague, Jayalalithaa said no minister “had the authority to write a letter directly to a fellow minister about an officer in the latter’s department.”

“People expect the Supreme Court, which is looking into a case against the SSCP controversy (over dredging of Ram Sethu), to take cognizance of this,” she said. Only the cabinet or the Prime Minister had the authority to intervene in such issues, she said while criticising Baalu for his “reacting to a technical point raised by the Naval Chief.”

Taking a cue from Karunanidhi’s statements on Lord Ram,the former Chief Minister wondered whether Baalu was a marine engineer or had obtained a degree in marine engineering.

Baalu’s action against rules, says Jayalalithaa

Special Correspondent (The Hindu, Jan 27, 2008)

CHENNAI: All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa on Saturday criticised Union Shipping Minister T.R. Baalu for his remarks against the Chief of Naval Staff Sureeh Mehta on the Sethusamudram project.

Recently the Naval Chief had observed in Chennai that the depth of the Sethusamudram Canal was only 12 metres and only small ships could sail at that depth. Objecting to this observation, Mr. Baalu wrote to Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

Ms. Jayalalithaa, in a statement here, said Mr. Baalu’s action was against rules when the matter was in the Supreme Court. “He has no right to interfere in matters concerning the security of the country.”

Threat to security

She reiterated her stand that the project would affect the livelihood of fishermen and pose a threat to the security of the country, besides destroying a national heritage of the country.

Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy said the Chief Minister, instead of insisting on the Sethusamudram Canal Project, should ask the Centre to lay double broad gauge railway lines and a six-lane national high way connecting Kanyakumari and Kolkata along the coast.

Container port sought

The Gulf of Mannar should be developed as a marine economic zone and an export container port set up in Tuticorin.

Sethu row: Jaya trains guns on Baalu

Express news service

Posted online: Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 0016 hrs IST

Chennai, January 26

In an obvious dig at Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa has wondered whether Union Minister T R Baalu was a qualified marine engineer.

In the thick of the Ram Sethu controversy, Karunanidhi had raised the hackles of Hindu outfits, criticising them for trying to stop the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) in the name of Lord Ram and the Ram Sethu. “Was Lord Ram an engineer? Did he obtain a degree from an engineering college?” he had asked.

In a statement on Saturday, Jayalalithaa raised strong objections to Baalu reportedly writing a letter to Union Defence Minister A K Antony faulting Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta for his recent comments on the Sethusamudram Project.

During a visit to Chennai on January 22, Mehta had pointed out that while the SSCP was a “viable project,” on completion “it would be useful only for small ships and not to those navigating on international routes”. Asked to elaborate, the Admiral was careful to remark: “This is Tamil Nadu. And it is a sensitive issue.”

“People are now wondering whether Baalu is a marine engineer. From which college did he pass out in marine engineering? Is he a member in any of the Indian or foreign naval schools or is he a naval engineer,” Jayalalithaa asked in her statement.

Claiming that Baalu in his letter to Antony had hauled up Mehta for his Sethu comments, Jayalalithaa said the minister had no authority to question the technical opinion of the country’s Naval chief. The Sethu project, she said, was a “useless one for the future”. According to a local media report, Baalu in a letter to Antony, had described as “unfortunate” Mehta’s remarks. He had also apparently demanded that Mehta issue a clarifying statement on the project and retract the ‘false information’ he had given to the media.

“Baalu is not the Defence Minister of the country and cannot question Antony on such issues. Only the Cabinet or the Prime Minister can intervene in such issues especially where national security is concerned,” Jayalalithaa said.

When contacted, Baalu refused to confirm that he had written a letter, saying there were several correspondence between him and Antony. “I am not reacting to Jayalalithaa’s charges. They are ridiculous,” Baalu told The Sunday Express.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Is the Dravidian christist Baalu a marine engineer?

Neither the illiterate christist neanderthal TR Baalu nor half literate head “Dravidian” neanderthal Karunanidhi have any technical credentials or economic management background whatsoever. Therefore, by their own argument, they have no locus standi on what is merely a matter of Rama’s engineering degree (according to them). The chief of Naval staff, Admiral Suresh Mehta has gone on record stating that the Sethusamudram project will be inconsequential to defense preparedness. Dravidian christist Baalu immediately bleated against the Admiral’s statement to the Union Defence minister, who happens to be a Kerala christist, allegedly with a “clean” image! Therefore, this is a legitimate question that needs to be asked. Are these Dravidian neanderthals qualified in marine geology, marine archaeology, structural engineering, strategic planning etc. Given the obnoxious behaviour of the “Dravidian” swines, there is clearly a case for the military not deferring to civilian “authority” in Indian dhimmocracy.


SC to hear Jayalalithaa’s plea on Ram Setu tomorrow (that is, 28 Jan. 2008)

New Delhi , Jan.27 The Supreme Court will tomorrow hear a petition filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa seeking directions to the authorities to take an alternative, route to complete Sethusamudram project so that Ram Setu is not damaged.

The AIADMK supremo in her petition has sought from the apex court that Ram Setu, known as Adam’s Bridge, should be declared a monument of national heritage. Ms Jayalalithaa has contended that the expert committee had suggested six alternative routes for completing the bridge linking coasts of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka for saving navigation time of ships.

She alleged that the Karunanidhi government has been adamant on demolishing Ram Setu without caring for the sentiments of crores of Hindus across the world who believe that it was constructed by Lord Rama to reach Sri Lanka.

The Supreme Court has indicated to the Tamil Nadu government that the stand taken by it during the hearing of petitions, seeking ban on bull fights on the eve of Pongal festival, that Jallikattu was concerned with religious sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu, may go against it in Ram Setu case.

Former Union Minister Subramanian Swamy has already made a statement that he will file an application in the Supreme Court for protecting Ram Setu on the ground that its demolition will hurt the sentiments of Hindus. – Bureau Report

Published: Sunday, January 27, 2008

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One Response to “Scrap Setu channel project, video of experts’ views”

  1. dr.v.ananthanarayanan Says:

    informative article.hope good sense prevail and hindus feelings are respected by all.vandematharam.jai hind.

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