Scrap SSCCP or Face Disaster, Warns Sceintists

via Media Inputs published on September 22, 2007

Thiruvananthapuram: The Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), a of scientists, technologists and environmental activists here urged the Government to abandon the SSCP in view of its potential for ecological disater and socio-economic impact.

CISSA called on scientists and environmentalists to express their impartial views on the impact of the project, especially on the Kerala coast.

A report released by CISSA warned that the project had the potential to trigger a series of ecological catastrophes along the Indian coast in the long run. It warned that the environmental impact of the project during the construction and operational phases would be immense.

Chairman of the panel C.S.P. Iyer, former head, Centre for Marine Analytical Reference and Standards (CMARS), said the Environmental Impact Assessment report for the Sethusamudram project had failed to take into account the tsunami or the frequent cyclones hitting the east coast.

Dr. Rajendran of the Centre for Earth Science Studies pointed out that the EIA had not considered the high sedimentation rate of the Palk Bay.

Highlighting the ecological significance of the region, A.Bijukumar of the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala, said the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve harboured a rich ecosystem.

“Continuous navigation will trigger devastating ecological imbalance, affecting the lives of millions of fisherfolk and endangering species like corals, sea horse and sea cow.

The excavation of the region and effluents from ships will impact on the rich biodiversity all along the Indian coast. Over 14,000 fishermen will lose their livelihood while 54,000 others will be affected indirectly”

The CISSA report also points out that the high interest rates and the uncertainty in usage were likely to make the project financially unviable.

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