Hurray SSCP says Vasan; Half-truths are dangerous says Kalyanaraman

published on November 2, 2007

I am shocked by this article ( ) and the dogmatic tone with which opinions are rendered.

It is unfortunate that Vasan jumps to conclusions and makes prerogative statements without studying the sedimentation patterns and geotectonic geo-nvironmental situation in the project area.
Experts should not mislead by proffering half-truths as scientific facts.

Vasan has first to explain why Pamban gap which is already in use (passing through a cantilever railway bridge) is not adequate to answer all the arguments he has put forth.

Many documents on sedimentation studies (summarised by R. Ramesh) should be studied and answered. So should Dr. K. Gopalakrishnan et al’s monograph on geotectonic/ geoenvironmental situation. Setusamudram- sedimentation sink « Hinducivilization

Who is the tsunami expert that Vasan relies on to state that the channel passage will save the coastline from the next tsunami? A world’s expert on tsunami, Dr. Tad S Murty seems to think that the channel will destroy the coastline if another tsunami occurs. Has Vasan seen Sept. 9 article in Nature magazine that a more devastating tsunami than the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami will occur putting 6 crore people in bay of Bengal coast at risk? If what Vasan says is true, the channel should get dug up rapidly as a tsunami protection measure instead of following the japanese example of building tsunami protection walls or building locks as in Suez land-based canal.

Did Vasan ever wonder why Sir A Ramaswamy Mudaliar categorically stated that any idea of a channel passage cutting through Rama Setu should be abandoned?

Why doesn’t Vasan note the fact that Kolkata port had to be abandoned because of sedimentation problems in the Ganga and hence Haldia port had to be created? Why is he underestimating the problem of salvage operations in a mid-ocean channel passage created as a novel, unprecendented navigational path in human history? Can he cite another example anywhere on the globe of such a channel passage?

Half-truths are dangerous indeed even when delivered as nautical assertions from a marine expert. Expertise should be delivered with caution and compassion for the poor people who live on the coasts and ensuring integrity of the nation’s coasts. Step one should be for Vasan to respond to the steps needed to the Sept. 9 Nature magazine nightmare scenarios cautioned. As a coast guard, I think it is his principal responsibility to come up with recommendations on how to cope with this tsunami threat which is real and imminent.


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