Scrap Setu channel, announce MEZ: Letter to PM

via Dr. S. Kalyanaraman published on January 4, 2008

To: Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh ji,

Govt. of India, New Delhi. Fax 01123016857

Respected, Hon’ble Prime Minster,

Sub: Scrap Setu channel project, announce MEZ for sustainable dev and abhyudayam of marine people

This is a suggestion to the Government of India, to scrap the Setu channel project and announce Marine Economic Zones.

MEZ will be the true alternative to an unprecedented, risky, unmaintable mid-ocean channel passage, a project which will devastate the marine bioreserve of Gulf of Mannar and destroy the livelihood of 20 lakh fisherfolk in Tamilnadu alone.

Tamilnadu alone can potentially generate Rs. 10,000 crores of foreign exchange per annum (at present the Foreign exchange earning per annum is Rs. 2000 crores from Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Thuthukudi, Kanyakumari alone).

Fish landings have increased five-fold in the last 40 years.

If fisherfolk can go into the exclusive economic zone of upto 200 km. from the coastline, their lives can be changed dramatically for the better.

This means more fishing harbours, better boats and coastal marine product processing and packaging facilities. Pamban gap (with the cantilever railwaybridge in operation) can adequately serve as the link between Gulf of mannar and Palk Bay using small craft.

Small is beautiful and as MEZ cooperatives, the crores of fisherfolk can control their destinies.

Please, please scrap the Setu channel project, take a suo moto decision to withdraw the case from Hon’ble Supreme Court before Jan. 12, 2008 and announce MEZs all along the 8118 km. coastline for all coastal states to create the potential for earning Rs. 40000 crores of foreign exchange per annum.

Such an announcement will be an economic revolution for bharatiya abhyudayam.

We hope Hon’ble PM will seize the opportunity to statesmanship and gain the abiding respect and thanks of crores of Bharatiyas, the 15 lakh people who came to Delhi on 30 Dec. 2007 from all parts of the nation, for an extraordinary, historic demonstration through a mahasammelan in Swarnajayanti Park of Rohini, to express their concerns about protecting Rama Setu as world heritage and protecting the coastline of India from another tsunami, a peaceful demonstration unprecedented in the annals of human history.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

Former Sr. Exec., Asian Development Bank,Chennai 600015
4 Jan. 2008

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