New petition in SC to scrap the Setu project – Dr. Subramanian Swamy

published on January 19, 2008


Statement of Dr.Subramanian Swamy, President of Janata Party, made in Chennai on 19.01.2008 

1. I shall be filing a new interlocutory application {IA} next week
in the Supreme Court seeking the complete scrapping of the
Sethusamudran Ship Channel Project [SSCP] on the following grounds:

[a] The SSCP was sanctioned by the Union Cabinet without the
mandatory prior clearance by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.
Post-sanction clearance by the TNPCB does not remove this legal defect,
because retrospective environment clearance is not permitted under law.

[b] The project is in violation of the Ministry of Environment &
Forest’s binding advice contained in a letter dated April 8, 1999 to
the Ministry of Surface Transport that the project is an environmental
disaster and should be dropped altogether. There is no new fresh data
that have been collected since that make it possible for the Ministry
to revise its 1999 advice.

[c] The decision to select the Alignment No.6 channel route that
requires cutting through the Rama Setu is illegal because NEERI has
already submitted in a 1998 Report to the government that cutting
through coral rocks and reefs would require blasting by using
explosives and hence it will completely destroy the marine life in the
Gulf of Mannar and Palk Straits. On this binding recommendation, the
Ministry of Shipping dropped the Alignment No.5 because it would have
needed blasting coral rocks near Dhanushkodi. Now the Alignment No.6
favoured by the DMK leaders requires ten times more blasting hence even
more illegal.

[d] Following the jallikattu revised decision of the Supreme Court,
wherein it is observed that the Tamil Nadu government has accepted the
principle that status quo has to be maintained if any change hurts the
religious sentiments of the people, therefore the Rama Setu cannot be
damaged in anyway. Jallikattu affects only one district of India, while
Rama Setu is revered by nearly a billion Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and
Jains the world over. Hence the principle of religious sentiments
applies even more.

[e] The SSCP’s detailed project report[DPR] was prepared before the
Tsunami hit the Tamil Nadu coast. Now world renowned experts consulted
by the government have opined that Rama Setu had helped to reduce the
virulence of the Tsunami. Hence the DPR is out of date and the SSCP
should be scrapped unless a new DPR is prepared to show that the
channel will have any funnel effect in a Tsunami.

2. The SSCPis a financial white elephant. The claim of the
Shipping Minister Mr. T.R. Baalu that the project will be an economic
boon the Tamil Nadu is based on bogus and cooked up data. This has been
proved and presented in my forthcoming newbook titled: Rama Setu–A
Symbol of National Unity. Hence I shall write to the PM soon seeking
sanction to prosecute Baalu under the Prevention of Corruption Act and
Section 420 of the IPC.

(SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY)

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