The unsalvaged spud near Rama Setu

published on February 29, 2008

Dinathanthi Tamil daily (Madurai Edition) 19 Feb. 2008


Fishing vessels damaged by the spud which broke during Setu dredging


Demand for compensation to fisherfolk by Rameshwaram Rama Setu Protection Movement


Rameshwaram, Feb. 19

During dredging operations for Setusamudram Channel Project, a spud broke and got  stuck
near Rama Setu. This spud which has not been removed from the Rama Setu
area has been damaging fishing vessels and fishing-nets are getting
entangled as shown in the photograph. Rameshwaram Rama Setu Protection
Movement has issued a press note demanding compensation for the
fisherfolk who have suffered damages and whose livelihood has been
adversely affected by the damages.


Spud tool


Kuppuram who is also Secretary of Rameshwaram Rama Setu Protection
Movement and President of Bharatiya Fishermen Federation of Tamilnadu
met the Press yesterday.


He said during the Press meet:


issue related to stopping the attempted destruction of Rama Setu in the
name of Setu Channel Project is subjudice. Together with Hindu Munnani
District Secretary Advocate Ramamurthy and others, we did a spot
investigation where attempts were made to destroy Rama Setu.


have also photographed the changes which have been recorded because of
the Project work. The spud is a tool used to break huge rocks and was
used by the dredger ship called Aquarius. This spud broke during
dredging/stone-breaking operations and fell into the Gulf waters. To
retrieve this spud, a ship named Thangam was engaged and the crane of
this also broke.


this context, the spud weighing 50 tonnes and which is 15 metres long
is still lying on the sea-bed unretrieved, unsalvaged. When the sea
level recedes (with low-tides) in this ocean zone, fishing vessels
which pass through this zone get damaged by this spud. So far 20
fishing vessels and over 100 fishing nets have been lost or damaged.
Fishermen have been subjected to heavy losses because of this reason.




of the non-removal of the spud, there is continuing danger of more
damages being caused to more ships and fishing vessels. Despite
repeated demands for the removal of this spud, Government and
Setusamudram Corporation have not so far any action. The spot where the
spud is lying is between the 5th and 6th tidal
(reefs), 11.4 nautical miles from Mukundarayar Chattiram. Compensation
should be provided to the owners of the damaged vessels who have
suffered losses.


National Security


Setu Shipping Channel Project is a move to devastate the livelihoos of
over 20 lakh coastal people. Indian Coast Guard Director General has
recently expressed concern that this endangers national security. So
the Central and State Governments should review the project.

So he said.

Translation from Tamil Daily

Shri Kalyanaraman Comments

If this what can happen to a
50 tonne spud which is lying unsalvaged for over 12 months now, one can only
speculate on the dangers which await ships which will get grounded in these
turbulent waters of the Indian Ocean. There are NO provisions whatsoever for
salvage operations in case a ship gets grounded in the proposed mid-ocean
channel passage, quite unlike the special arrangements made on Suez land-based
canal with heavy bollards installed every 200 ft. on either bank of the canal
to tug out grounded vessels using metal wires tied to the bollards. But, then
who cares for navigational safey in the project disaster called Setu mid-ocean
Channel Project, an undertaking unprecedented in human history? Channel,
channel everywhere, no fishing to survive for the coastal/marine people.

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