Tsunami will engulf Kerala-Swadeshi Science Movement

published on March 28, 2007

 ‘Stop Sethusamudram dredging work’

Pioneer News Service | Kochi

The Swadeshi Science Movement has urged the Central Government to stop the dredging work near Ramar Sethu for the Sethusamudram Canal Project (SSCP) and consider alternative alignments suggested by various agencies.

Vijnana Bharathi all-India organising secretary A Jayakumar told newsmen here on Wednesday that during the December 2004 tsunami, the Ramar Sethu, also known as Adams Bridge, in Palk Bay had acted as a natural barrier preventing the direct and total devastation of the South Indian coastline.

The implementation of the SSC Project would operationally involve breaking and dismantling of the Ramar Sethu for creating a 300-metre-wide canal, he said. This would allow tsunami waves directly into the South Indian coastline, he warned.

The marine reserve along the Gulf of Mannar was India’s most biologically diverse coastal regions, he pointed out. Over 3,600 species of plants and animals and many endangered species of turtles are found there, he said.

No study had been undertaken to assess a possible impact of a future tsunami on the project, he said. It was obvious that such a mega project had been undertaken without any serious study of its impact on the environment, specially after a tsunami, he argued.

Jayakumar said that the SSCP was originally proposed in 1860 by the then British Government. In 1955, the Union Government under Jawaharlal Nehru had appointed a committee to carry out a feasibility study, he said.

He said that the Bombay Natural History Society as well as CP Rajendran of the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS), Thiruvananthapuram had raised serious objection to the project in the present form.

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