Plea to drop Setu project

Plea to drop Sethusamudram project

Staff Reporter (The Hindu, 11 March 2008)

TUTICORIN: The Coastal Action Network (CAN), a non-governmental organisation, has urged the Government to drop the Sethusamudram project, arguing that it is “uneconomical and threatens the socio-economic status of thousands of fishermen.”

It organised an interaction of scientists and experts with reporters here on Monday to discuss the scientific impact of the project.

Commander John Jacob Puthur, a retired naval officer, said the project would be unviable, as a huge sum was needed for maintenance dredging. “The dredging now being carried out will not be of any use, since the pit will get easily refilled with silts as both sides of the alignment are occupied by loose sand,” he said.

The expenditure on maintenance dredging, pegged at Rs. 20 crore and claimed to reduce to Rs. 14 crore in five years, was “false” and “meant to fool the public,” he said. “The calculation has been made without any regard for sediment dynamics.”

Security threats

Captain H. Balakrishnan, another retired naval officer, said the LTTE factor would have a bearing on the safety of ships passing through the channel, as the naval unit of the terrorist outfit had shown their prowess in seaborne insurgency.


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