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India to build new "Suez" despite ecological storm
Reuters ^ | Fri Jul 1, 2005 | Y.P. Rajesh

Posted on 07/02/2005 3:13:09 PM PDT by nickcarraway

DHANUSHKODI, India (Reuters) - For India, it is an almost 150-year dream about to come true -- its "Suez" carving a new channel between the south coast and Sri Lanka, dramatically shortening the sea route for freight and slashing costs.

But for environmentalists and fishermen, it is a nightmare in the making, one that it will haunt South Asia for decades.

The $560 million Sethusamudram Ship Channel has roused strong emotions among supporters and opponents alike. And the tussle is likely to worsen as digging begins on Saturday.

One of India's showcase projects to upgrade its infrastructure to cope with rapid economic growth, the channel, 12 metres deep, 300 metres wide and almost 90 km (55 miles) long, will cut through a chain of small islands known as Adam's Bridge that links the tips of India and Sri Lanka.

Once finished, freighters sailing from one side of India to the other will no longer have to detour south around the bottom of Sri Lanka, saving up to 400 nautical miles (730 km) and 36 hours.

"This will be a boon for the shipping industry. It will boost our ports and increase economic activity along the channel," said a spokesman for the Shipping Ministry, which is overseeing the project.

RED TAPE AND TANGLES

"It will also benefit our navy as vessels can move faster and also patrol the seas between India and Sri Lanka."

Sethusamudram -- literally the sea with the bridge -- was first conceived in 1860, about the same time digging started for the Suez Canal in Egypt, by a British naval officer.

But red tape and political tangles tied it up until May, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's coalition government finally cleared it, under pressure from a southern ally who wants to highlight the project in the Tamil Nadu state poll next year.

The canal will only be able to handle small and medium-size ships with a draft of up to 10 metres and up to 50,000 DWT (dead weight tonnage). Such vessels could carry containers, grain and other commodities, but would exclude the likes of crude tankers and aircraft carriers.

Nevertheless, shippers are excited.

One project estimate puts the number of transits in 2008, the first year of operation, at 3,055 under a moderate traffic scenario, more than doubling to 7,141 in 2025.

"Sethusamudram will enhance coastal traffic. It will help feeder container vessels, small product and bulk carriers and multi purpose vessels," Yudhisthir D. Khatau, vice-president of the National Shipowners' Association, told Reuters.

A brilliant idea, say environmentalists, but only if the waters around Adam's Bridge, including a marine park, were not home to one of the world's richest biosphere reserves, with 3,600 types of marine life, including about 400 endangered species.

Digging will involve scooping the seabed and dumping the sediment in deeper water further out to sea.

This and the freight traffic would wipe out marine life and threaten the livelihood of thousands of small fishermen in India and Sri Lanka, reducing catches and restricting their movement, activists in both countries say.

"The worst thing marine life hates is mud and oil. They will simply die or disappear," said Ossie Fernandes of the Coastal Action Network, an umbrella body of environmental groups, fishing organisations, scientists and activists. "So, if you look at the entire biosphere, the project is the death knell."

Sri Lanka has also voiced its worries, but its opposition has been muted in the face of India's power and influence. India brushes aside opposition, saying the canal has been cleared by an official environmental body.

The ministry says the route is more than 20 km (13 miles) from the marine park. Digging will be monitored to make sure marine life is not disturbed, ships must meet tough pollution controls and money has been put aside to help the fishermen.

But critics still plan street protests and rail blockades.

"I am an illiterate fisherman, but even I know that when they dig the seabed and deposit it elsewhere, fish in both places will perish," said Nagaraj, of Dhanushkodi hamlet, the nearest human habitation to Adam's Bridge.

"But we are poor folk and don't have a voice. How can we take on the almighty federal government?"


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: adamsbridge; economy; godsgravesglyphs; hanuman; india; ramayana; ramsethu; ramsetu; sealife; shipping; srilanka

1 posted on 07/02/2005 3:13:10 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

BTTT


2 posted on 07/02/2005 3:19:50 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: nickcarraway

Sounds like a good idea, although I didn't realize it was necessary. The sea is more shallow than I would have thought.


4 posted on 07/02/2005 3:22:06 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: nickcarraway
A view looking west. India is to the right, Sri Lanka is to the left.
5 posted on 07/02/2005 3:36:05 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 51-58)
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To: Straight Vermonter; nickcarraway
Looks man made to me.

Adam's Bridge

"Adam's Bridge or Rama's Bridge , chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long, in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. At high tide it is covered by c.4 ft (1.2 m) of water. A steamer ferry links Rameswaram, India, with Mannar, Sri Lanka. According to Hindu legend, the bridge was built to transport Rama, hero of the Ramayana, to the island to rescue his wife from the demon king Ravanna.

6 posted on 07/02/2005 3:42:51 PM PDT by blam
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To: nickcarraway
Adam's Bridge (Many NASA pictures)
7 posted on 07/02/2005 3:58:48 PM PDT by blam
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To: nickcarraway
Advice to India: Get rid of your environmentalists before it's too late and they mess you up worse than we are. Hint: rumor has it they go well with curry, if a bit tough to chew...
8 posted on 07/02/2005 3:59:05 PM PDT by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: nickcarraway
"But we are poor folk and don't have a voice. How can we take on the almighty federal government?"

Thus, FreeRepublic. Maybe the poor folk still won't be able to take on the almighty fedgov, but they can cause some serious thinking in the cloistered halls of power.

9 posted on 07/02/2005 4:03:49 PM PDT by RightWhale (withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty)
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To: nickcarraway
Hmmm. If it is this shallow currently, I have to wonder, if this was dry land during the last ice age, and what might be underwater today of an archaeological nature...
10 posted on 07/02/2005 4:15:04 PM PDT by LRS
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To: LRS
"Hmmm. If it is this shallow currently, I have to wonder, if this was dry land during the last ice age, and what might be underwater today of an archaeological nature..."

Maybe something like this:

Lost Civilisation From 7,500BC Discovered Off Indian Coast

11 posted on 07/02/2005 4:32:23 PM PDT by blam
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To: nickcarraway

" How can we take on the almighty federal government?"

That poor fisherman seems to be echoing what many in the richest country in the world are asking, after the Kelo decision.

At least that Indian govt. decision won't allow jack booted thugs purchased by the wealthy to disposses him of whatever he has.

Oops! My mistake. He is a fisherman, and as such probably lives on waterfront. He is at risk also. Ask the SCOTUS 'Foul Five'.


12 posted on 07/02/2005 4:39:40 PM PDT by GladesGuru ("In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles)
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To: nickcarraway
A picture is worth a thousand words.

Here is the url to some Sri Lanka maps.

I looked at #3 on the list.

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/sri_lanka.html
13 posted on 07/02/2005 4:55:01 PM PDT by Cheburashka
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To: blam

Thanks. I had remembered reading about the Gulf of Cambay discovery, which is why I brought this idea up. I was really shocked that the initial article for this thread was devoid of this possibility. I should note that I am not saying that this possibility should stand in the way of the proposed project. However, I sure hope plenty of study is conducted before an important piece of humanity's past is destroyed without realization...


14 posted on 07/02/2005 4:58:42 PM PDT by LRS
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To: Cheburashka

This one?

15 posted on 07/02/2005 5:09:42 PM PDT by blam
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To: nickcarraway

Suez? Did that area had such a strategic meaning as Suez? What is Reuters dreaming about?


16 posted on 07/02/2005 5:40:34 PM PDT by Wiz
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To: nickcarraway

"The worst thing marine life hates is mud and oil. They will simply die or disappear," said Ossie Fernandes of the Coastal Action Network, an umbrella body of environmental groups, fishing organisations, scientists and activists. "So, if you look at the entire biosphere, the project is the death knell."

Of course, they overlook the pollution created (both air and water) during the extra 400km that the ships currently have to travel. Oil leakage and Diesel fumes.

And silt eventually settles. Look at the recent tidal wave in southeast Asia last Christmas. Think that raised a bit of mud and dumped it at sea? This dredging will probably be a small fraction of that.


17 posted on 07/02/2005 7:49:18 PM PDT by SpinyNorman (Liberals are enablers for terrorists and other anti-American groups.)
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To: blam
Best of the bunch:


18 posted on 07/02/2005 7:54:48 PM PDT by SpinyNorman (Liberals are enablers for terrorists and other anti-American groups.)
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To: nickcarraway
but only if the waters around Adam's Bridge, including a marine park, were not home to one of the world's richest biosphere reserves, with 3,600 types of marine life, including about 400 endangered species.

I'm beginning to lose count of how many of "one of the richest biosphere reserves in the world" there are. I know there is Brazil, and the central american jungles, and the Galapagos, and the Florida Everglades, and the Northeastern US Forest, and Hawaii, and New Zealand, and on and on and on! LOL! Never underestimate the extreme language of the environmental left...

19 posted on 07/02/2005 7:58:16 PM PDT by Kay Ludlow (Free market, but cautious about what I support with my dollars)
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To: nickcarraway; Gengis Khan

BUMP & ping, for Gunga Din.


20 posted on 07/02/2005 9:14:22 PM PDT by Brian Allen (All that is required to ensure the triumph [of evil] is that Good Men do nothing -- Edmund Burke)
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To: nickcarraway
The $560 million Sethusamudram Ship Channel

I'm impressed. To do this project in the U.S. this amount of money wouldn't even cover the environmental impact statement. Change the million to billion and that would be close to the cost if the project were done in the U.S. No wonder so many companies head to India.

21 posted on 07/02/2005 9:42:19 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: taxesareforever

I was wondering if that number could possibly be right.


22 posted on 07/03/2005 12:08:18 AM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Note: this topic is dated 7/2/2005.

Blast from the Past.

Thanks nickcarraway.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


23 posted on 02/12/2013 8:12:58 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I’m no ally of the envirowackos, but this one strikes me as ripe for the law of unintended consequences.


24 posted on 02/14/2013 4:09:32 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: nickcarraway
Sethusamudram -- literally the sea with the bridge -- was first conceived in 1860, about the same time digging started for the Suez Canal in Egypt, by a British naval officer.

Why not, the Brits had a hedge built that crossed India to help collect taxes about the same time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inland_Customs_Line

25 posted on 02/14/2013 4:15:06 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: colorado tanker

Keeping the new sealane(s) clear will be fulltime.


26 posted on 02/14/2013 6:34:09 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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