The unsalvaged spud near Rama Setu

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The unsalvaged spud near Rama Setu If this what can happen to a 50 tonne spud which is lying unsalvaged for over 12 months now, one can only speculate on the dangers which await ships which will get grounded in these turbulent waters of the Indian Ocean. There are NO provisions whatsoever for salvage operations in case a ship gets grounded in the proposed mid-ocean channel passage, quite unlike the special arrangements made on Suez land-based canal with heavy bollards installed every 200 ft. on either bank of the canal to tug out grounded vessels using metal wires tied to the bollards. But, then who cares for navigational safey in the project disaster called Setu mid-ocean Channel Project, an undertaking unprecedented in human history? Kalyanaraman Dinathanthi Tamil daily (Madurai Edition) 19 Feb. 2008 Fishing vessels damaged by the spud which broke during Setu dredging Demand for compensation to fisherfolk by Rameshwaram Rama Setu Protection Movement Rameshwaram, Feb. 19During dredging operations for Setusamudram Channel Project, a spud broke and got  stuck near Rama Setu. This spud which has not been removed from the Rama Setu area has been damaging fishing vessels and fishing-nets are getting entangled as shown in the photograph. Rameshwaram Rama Setu Protection Movement has issued a press note demanding compensation for the fisherfolk who have suffered damages and whose livelihood has been adversely affected by the damages. Spud tool Advocate Kuppuram who is also Secretary of Rameshwaram Rama Setu Protection Movement and President of Bharatiya Fishermen Federation of Tamilnadu met the Press yesterday. He said during the Press meet: The issue related to stopping the attempted destruction of Rama Setu in the name of Setu Channel Project is subjudice. Together with Hindu Munnani District Secretary Advocate Ramamurthy and others, we did a spot investigation where attempts were made to destroy Rama Setu. We have also photographed the changes which have been recorded because of the Project work. The spud is a tool used to break huge rocks and was used by the dredger ship called Aquarius. This spud broke during dredging/stone-breaking operations and fell into the Gulf waters. To retrieve this spud, a ship named Thangam was engaged and the crane of this also broke. In this context, the spud weighing 50 tonnes and which is 15 metres long is still lying on the sea-bed unretrieved, unsalvaged. When the sea level recedes (with low-tides) in this ocean zone, fishing vessels which pass through this zone get damaged by this spud. So far 20 fishing vessels and over 100 fishing nets have been lost or damaged. Fishermen have been subjected to heavy losses because of this reason. Steps Because of the non-removal of the spud, there is continuing danger of more damages being caused to more ships and fishing vessels. Despite repeated demands for the removal of this spud, Government and Setusamudram Corporation have not so far any action. The spot where the spud is lying is between the 5th and 6th tidal (reefs), 11.4 nautical miles from Mukundarayar Chattiram.

Compensation should be provided to the owners of the damaged vessels who have suffered losses. National Security The Setu Shipping Channel Project is a move to devastate the livelihoos of over 20 lakh coastal people. Indian Coast Guard Director General has recently expressed concern that this endangers national security. So the Central and State Governments should review the project.So he said. (Translation from Tamil News report shown above).  

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