Sethu Samudram, a national waste: Sailors

via HK Correspondent published on April 7, 2006

CHENNAI: The much publicized Sethu Samudram channel which is being built in the Indian Ocean is a national waste, according to veteran sailors and mariners. “This is a project which has been launched to fill the coffers of DMK and its leader,” said Captain Balagopal, a veteran sailor with one of the leading ship companies in the world. “ They claim the Sethu canal will reduce the time of sailing between the east and the west coasts of India. But they are silent on the fact that how many ships will use this particular stretch,” Capt Balagopal pointed  out.


According to Balagopal, a savings of a few hours will not make any major changes for international liners. “You cannot compare Suez or Panama canals with that of Sethu Samudram,” said Balagopal.


The 167 long Suez canal which links Mediterranean and the Red Seas reduces the distance between Europe and Asia by more than half. “Ships from Asian and Europe used to circumnavigate Africa to reach their destinations before the commissioning of the Suez Canal. Once the Suez Canal was inaugurated they saved weeks of sailing between the continents,” said Capt Vikram, yet another seasoned sailor who has circumnavigated the globe  for quite a  number of years.


The Panama Canal which connects Atlantic and Pacific oceans too is a technological marvel which reduces the sailing time by weeks. But the Sethu Samudram canal when commissioned  may not find any takers since international liners will prefer to circumnavigate Sri Lanka  than sailing through this narrow  canal paying huge fee as toll. The insistence of the Karunanidhi led  DMK to go ahead with the construction of the canal much against the wishes of various scientific and  technological agencies have led to apprehension in the minds of security agencies. It is a known fact that DMK leader Karunanidhi and his family have strong business dealings with LTTE and international drug syndicates.


The insistence by Karunanidhi that the DMK be given the ministry of shipping and surface transport itself was to strengthen the family control over the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal regions. The Karunanidhi family owns a number of ships registered under fake names. With T R Balu, a family retainer in charge of the ministry, Karunanidhi and his son Stalin are having a field day along the Bay of Bengal  and Indian Ocean regions.

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