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US heritage body wants Ram Setu preserved
The Pioneer ^ | Saturday, June 09, 2007 | The Pioneer

Posted on 06/09/2007 1:32:11 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick

World Monuments Fund favours garnering public support on this ancient bridge

Government can make it a tourist attraction, say experts World Monuments Fund, an international preservation organisation that brings out World Monuments Watch List of endangered sites, has said that the Government of India should be made to realise that it's more valuable to preserve Ram Setu or Adam's Bridge than demolishing it.

Marilyn Perry, chairman of the fund, said in an interview on the sidelines of the function to release the list of endangered sites of the world in its New York Madison Avenue office that the Federal Government could consider sending scuba divers underwater to collect sand deposits and analyse them in the laboratory. "The Government could leave the disputed area untouched and make it as a tourist attraction by sending tourists in glass bottom boats to see what's inside the sea. That could compensate for whatever is the revenue loss of diversion. They could also invite international team of scuba divers to come and take underwater photography and tests to find out whether the rock formations still exit. It's easy to demolish but hard to construct anything again," she said.

Agreeing that the fund is not a world policeman and its requests may fell on deaf ears, she said an alternative vision of the value which Government officials may not see should be created. "They often only see the water and the revenue and not the archaeological importance beneath the sea. The organisers of the movement could use mass media such as television and also make a film and show to the people to create awareness. We have to create enough documentation that the bridge was ancient and that it's sacred to both India and Sri Lanka as it demonstrates historic connections. Instead of being frightened of the national Government, the organisers should mobilise local people to support the movement. You always need local support and can't do anything without them."

On listing Ram Setu as an endangered historical monument, she said unfortunately the nomination for this year was already over. "The question is how to find a mechanism in this case to publicise it extensively to gather public opinion. We need to know how the Sri Lankan Government and people feel about the demolition. There is no question of wrong and the right in any issue and the answer is finding consensus. How much can we save or whether there are any alternatives to the project without destruction. The Government could be made to realise that it's more valuable to preserve the site. Often, the fund may not be able to convince the Governments as we do not don policemen's role. We could not stop the construction of a dam in Turkey as the Government would not listen to us. The dam would flood some of the great archaeological sites yet the Government was adamant," she said.

Bonnie Burnham, president of the Fund, said the movement against the project should be tenacious in getting the public voice heard. "If we could convince the Federal Government on Taj Mahal which would have been affected by developments, I am sure we can find a way out for this issue too. Fortunately, lot of heritage bodies in India came together and provided their support to stop an action that would have had an adverse negative impact on the world monument. Joint voices really do make a difference. The organisers should rope in bodies like INTACH," she added.

"In India, I hope there will be a much greater development of NGOs at local level. There is no more awareness now and private sector can really play a role. Heritage of India is too rich for the Government to take care of by itself. Voice of the private sector will have a clout on such matters. In India as of now, it's really not easy for foreign NGOs to get established due to extremely laborious legal process. There are not strong incentives for philanthropy. Changing laws related to both the issues would have a huge impact and there is very strong interest among foreign NGOs to get involved with India's heritage. There is no infrastructure that supports the Government efforts. No community exists that does not have something important to say on Indian heritage," she added.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: adamsbridge; dwarka; godsgravesglyphs; hanuman; india; monument; nasa; ramayana; ramsethu; ramsetu; srilanka; sunkencivilizations; tamilnadu

Adam's Bridge.

1 posted on 06/09/2007 1:32:15 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick
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To: CarrotAndStick

The Sethu-Samudram Shipping Canal Project proposes linking the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka by creating a shipping canal through the shallow sea sometimes called Setu Samudram, and through the island chain of Rama’s Bridge, also known as Adam’s Bridge. This would provide a continuous navigable sea route around the Indian Peninsula. The project involves digging a 44.9 nautical mile (83 km) long deepwater channel linking the shallow water of the Palk Strait with the Gulf of Mannar. Conceived as early as 1860 by Alfred Dundas Taylor, it recently received approval of the Indian government.

A ferry service linking the island and port of Rameswaram in India with Talaimannar in Sri Lanka has been suspended for some time due to the fighting between Sri Lankan government forces and the Sri Lankan Tamil separatist group, the LTTE.


Possibly conceived in 1860 by Commander A. D. Taylor of the Indian Marines, the project has been reviewed many times over the years but no decision was ever made. It was part of the election manifestos of all political parties during elections. The Union Government of India appointed the Sethu Samudram Project Committee in 1955, headed by Dr. A. Ramasamy Mudaliar, which was charged with the duty of examining the desirability of the project. After evaluating the costs and benefits, this committee found the project feasible and viable. Several reviews of the proposals followed. Finally, the United Progressive Alliance Government of India headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the inauguration of the project on June 2, 2005.

2 posted on 06/09/2007 1:39:34 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: CarrotAndStick

I found this on Wikipedia:

“Recently the Government of India has approved a multi-million dollar Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project that aims to create a ship channel across the Palk Strait. The plan is to dredge the shallow ocean floor near the Dhanushkodi end of Rama’s Bridge to create enough leeway allowing ships to pass through the channel instead of having to go around the island of Sri Lanka. It is expected to save nearly 30 hours’ shipping time by cutting over 400 km off the voyage.”

400km divided by 30 hours = 13.33 kmp/h = 7.2 kts. So it sounds like we’re talking about dredging a channel for dhows and not real ships. Doesn’t look worth it to me.

3 posted on 06/09/2007 3:15:46 AM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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I found more details here:,prtpage-1.cms

With the inauguration of Sethu Samudram Ship Channel Project by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 2, a more than 100-year-old dream of the nation is on its way to fulfilment. But like other mega projects such as the river linking project and the Sardar Sarovar project, this project is also not without controversy. Proponents of the project say that it will be the harbinger of economic growth.
Interestingly, the project was originally proposed by AD Taylor, a Britisher in the Indian Marine in 1860.
What is the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project?
Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project envisages dredging of a ship channel across the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka. Two channels will be created - one across Adam's Bridge (the chain of islets and shallows linking India with Sri Lanka), south-east of Pamban Island and another through the shallows of Palk Bay, deepening the Palk Straits. The total length of these two channels would be 89 km.
A special purpose vehicle, Sethusamudram Corporation, has been set up with a debt-equity ratio of 1.5:1 for the Rs 24.27-bn project. The central government will provide Rs 4.95 bn of the equity. The Tuticorin Port Trust, the implementing authority, and the Shipping Corporation of India will contribute Rs 500 mn each. The Dredging Corporation of India, Chennai Port Trust, Ennore Port Ltd, Visakhapatnam Port Trust and Paradip Port Trust will provide Rs 300 mn each. The remaining equity of Rs 2.26 bn is to be raised through a public issue, with UTI Bank as facilitator. The central government will guarantee the domestic as well as foreign debt. The project, which envisages a 2.5-km distance between ships moving two ways in the canal, is likely to be a technical marvel.
Work on the project began in earnest in 1922. That was the year when nine proposals were made to cut a canal underwater across a reef that separates the Dhanushkodi beach, off the Indian coast of Rameswaram, from north Sri Lanka. But it was finally given life only in 1955 by a feasibility study conducted by the Ramaswamy Mudaliar committee. After several studies, the government took a concrete step towards the execution of the project when Rs 4.8 crore was allocated for a feasibility study of the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Protect in the 2000-01 Union Budget
Why is this project required?
Currently ships coming from the west coast of India and other western countries with destination in the east coast of India and also in Bangladesh, China, etc have to navigate around Sri Lankan coast. The existing water way is shallow and not sufficient for the movement of ships. This is due to the presence of a shallow region known as Adam’s Bridge, located south-east of Rameswaram near Pamban, which connects the Talimannar coast of Sri Lanka. In order to reduce the steaming distances between the east and west coasts of India and to improve the navigation within territorial waters of India this project has been started. The channel will cut short sailing of an additional distance of 254-424 nautical miles and 21-36 hours of sailing time.
What are the other advantages of the project?
The project will lead to considerable savings and earnings of foreign exchange. It is estimated that the Exim trade incurred an additional expenditure of around Rs 1,000 crore in foreign exchange in transhipment of Indian cargo outside the country during the financial year 2003-04 alone.
There will be substantial savings for the shipping companies, exporters, importers and manufacturers. Trade will benefit from reduction in maritime transportation cost.
The channel will become an invaluable asset from national defence and security point of view enabling easier and quicker access between the coasts. Indian coast guard and naval ships will not have to circumnavigate around Sri Lanka. .
Indian fishing boats will be able to transit freely though Adam's Bridge. This is not possible today. Fishermen will directly benefit due to the potential for development of fishing harbours (between Nagapattinam and Tuticorin) with proper landing and storage facilities. Maritime trade in Tamil Nadu, both coastal and international, will flourish with rapid development of existing minor port in Ramanathapuram.
What are the controversies around the project?
As the project finally becomes reality, concerns are mounting about what will happen to the 600,000 people who depend on fishing in the waters where the canal will be dug. Local fishermen and environmentalists have opposed the scheme, saying that digging would mean that the seabed scooped from the straits will be dumped in deeper water out to sea. This, they say, will endanger a rich biosphere reserve with 400 endangered species, including sea turtles, dolphins, dugongs and whales. Environmentalists point out that a canal would also destroy the natural barrier between the Bay of Bengal and the shallower, calmer waters of the Palk Bay.

Coastal Action Network (CAN), an umbrella group of NGOs had gone to court last year, saying the canal would disrupt their lives. Though the Madras High Court had in December dismissed the objections and signalled the go-ahead for the project, CAN has returned to the Madras High Court with a fresh appeal against clearance by the Union environment ministry. In its writ petition, it says that the Sethusamudram canal project was based on a "scientifically incomplete" report.
According to the group, the March 31 environmental clearance was granted "without application of mind". Senior Union government counsel P Wilson said the appeal has to first go through procedures of the National Environment Appellate Authority Act.
The National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) had also done a Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment in the neighbouring seas and submitted its report in 2003-04.
But the Tamil Nadu government does not agree. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has refused to give the project clearance, mandatory for any infrastructure project of over Rs 500 mn to be initiated in any state. Adding its voice to the chorus from activists, the Tamil Nadu government also says that the NEERI report is superficial. In fact Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, boycotted the high profile inauguration ceremony where besides the prime minister, the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and finance minister were also present.
Sri Lanka, which was not consulted about the canal, also has voiced concerns that it would disadvantage its port in Colombo, presently south Asia's most successful hub for sea traffic. The foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, and the environment minister, AHM Fowzie, did voice fears and set up an inter-ministerial committee, and President Chandrika Kumaratunga did take up the issue with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during her recent visit to Delhi. But the public voicing of concern ceased when the Indian government explained to the Sri Lankan president and her technical advisors that the project was not harmful and they were assured that any new concerns would be addressed.
Why is India pursuing the project now?
There are three reasons why the project seems to be seeing the light of day now:
(1) The tremendous economic development that India is now undergoing has created demand for the development of the shipping sector. It has also made the investment required for the project affordable;
(2) The increasing concern in India about its security requirements, also its growing ambition to be a global super power has propelled to go for the project.
(3)Then there is the domestic political compulsion to carry out the project. Two of the leading members of the ruling coalition in Delhi at this point of time, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led by the veteran Tamil leader M Karunanidhi, and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) led by Vaiko, have been pushing hard for the project at the central government level. They are in positions of power thanks to coalition politics.
The ruling All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu is scared that the DMK and the MDMK is going to walk away with prizes for establishing the project. And according to the DMK, the AIADMK government is putting spokes in the wheel. The Congress, which is the leader of the coalition at the centre, is also interested. Congressman and Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who represents Sivaganga constituency in south Tamil Nadu, is very keen that the southern districts of his state make rapid strides in economic development. Chidambaram sees the development of ports on the south Tamil Nadu coastline as a necessary pre-requisite for the development of the hinterland. As he himself told parliament, the Sethusamudram project is a "long cherished dream" of the people of Tamil Nadu.
How real are the threats posed by the environmentalist?
P Balasundarampillai, a leading geographer and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna.
In an interview to a newspaper in Colombo on Monday, P Balasundarampillai, a leading geographer and former vice chancellor of the University of Jaffna, said that the ship canal would bring business not only to the many small ports on the Tamil Nadu coastline, but also to the currently languishing northern Sri Lankan ports of Mannar, Thalaimannar, Kankensanthurai (KKS), and Point Pedro.
According to him, the project doesn’t pose any environmental threat. In the he revealed that the environmental aspects of the project have been looked into in-depth through over 30 studies. He himself has seen in the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, and another institute in Taramani, amazing facilities for computer simulation of ocean conditions.
Taking the environmental issues one by one, he says that there is no truth in the allegation that the coast of Jaffna will be eroded, and that hundreds of islets off the coast will be sunk, and marine life will be washed away by waters rushing into the Palk Strait and Palk Bay from the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, as a result of digging of the canal.
According to Balasundarampillai, the major currents in the seas off the west and east coasts of India and South Sri Lanka, are too far away from the canal area to affect water flows in it. Because of this, the depth of the canal will continue to be shallow and the water flow low.
"At any rate, for ships to move, the currents and the water flow will have to be regulated and this will be done by the design of the canal," he points out. According to him, much of the criticism of the project is due to ignorance of new and advanced canal building and dredging technology now available in the world. This is the not the first time in the world that a ship canal will be dug he points out. There are ship canals in Europe and in Japan too. A whole tunnel, linking England and France, has been dug, and the English Channel is none the worse for it.
Dredging of the sea is necessary for building and maintaining harbours and this is constantly done with no harm being done to the adjacent coastline. There is offshore oil rigging all over the world. And India has ample experience of it through digging in Bombay High. "Sometimes the wells go up to 300 to 400 metres deep into the sea off the coast," the geographer points out.
The North Sea is full of oilrigs and there has been no adverse impact of these on the Scandinavian countries or Great Britain, he says. As for the disposal of the dredged material/waste, there are tried and tested ways and means to dispose them off. The Indian government has assured that the Gulf of Mannar biosphere will be unaffected by the canal.
There are indeed fears about pollution and oil slicks due to increased shipping in the narrow sea. But Balasundarampillai says that effective pollution control measures exist, and that these have been factored into the project. Apart from economic and technical feasibilities, any project now will have to get clearance from pollution control agencies. India has very strong and vocal environment protection groups and government is not unaware of the trouble that these can create. There are international laws to be adhered to also. Fisheries will not be affected.
The geographer debunks objections based on the fear that fishing will be adversely affected by the increased shipping in the narrow sea. He points out that increased shipping has never affected fishing even in the busiest seas in the world like the English Channel and the North Sea. There has been no adverse impact on either the environment or fishing, by digging a tunnel linking the UK and France under the English Channel.
The ships coming to the canal will be moving in a single file, one up and the other down. They will not be dispersed. Thus, they will not be a hindrance to the movement of fishing boats in the area, he says.
Moreover, the influx of fresh water from the India Ocean and the Bay of Bengal due to the digging of the canal will actually bring in more fish and newer varieties of fish into the Palk Strait, Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar area.
©Bennett, Coleman and Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

4 posted on 06/09/2007 4:38:00 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: CarrotAndStick

There’s still nothing in there about the depth of the proposed channel, only the length, and the depth is what will determine the size of the vessels transiting.

I can see an advantage for traffic coming straight down the east coast of India. The idea that there is any advantage for traffic coming from China is stupid.

5 posted on 06/09/2007 5:03:56 AM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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I think so too... perhaps dhows and small ships form the majority of the sea-borne traffic?

6 posted on 06/09/2007 5:18:55 AM PDT by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: CarrotAndStick

...and, I “care” because....???


7 posted on 06/09/2007 5:25:32 AM PDT by JB in Whitefish
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To: CarrotAndStick

Agreed. If it’s all internal waters, it’s their choice.

8 posted on 06/09/2007 5:26:43 AM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: JB in Whitefish
...and, I “care” because....???

Excellent question. If you don't know then get the f**k out of here.

9 posted on 06/09/2007 5:39:18 AM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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“...and, I “care” because....???

Excellent question. If you don’t know then get the f**k out of here.”

Nice, thoughtful reply.

“here” being what, YOUR thread...??? “YOUR” website...???

“f**k” being what, ME....???

I STILL don’t “get” WHY I’m supposed to be losing sleep over this, TOUGH GUY...!!!

[USN, 1967-70, ETN-2, Honorably Discharged]

10 posted on 06/09/2007 6:22:58 AM PDT by JB in Whitefish
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To: JB in Whitefish
Nice, thoughtful reply.

You're joking, right?

Go back and read your original post to the thread, #7.

Then come back and tell me how "thoughtful" it was and how much it added to the discussion.

Thanks for your service.

11 posted on 06/09/2007 12:16:05 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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“Nice, thoughtful reply.

You’re joking, right?

Go back and read your original post to the thread, #7.

Then come back and tell me how “thoughtful” it was and how much it added to the discussion.

Thanks for your service.”

Enough lectures for the was a QUESTION...and NOT directed to, WAS it...???

Suck on my service...!!!

You’re Welcome.


I wasn’t TRYING to “add” anything....OR subtract for that matter. I simply don’t “get” all the hubbub..

Now, if someone ELSE would care to elaborate...

Am I supposed to get all lathered up because:

1. Adam won’t be able to use his bridge any more.

2. The Sri Lankans are improving their ocean travel routes.

3. Coral will die an unnatural death and we’re all doomed.

4. Some UN minded NGO is sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

5. Nuke Subs will have a new place to play.

6. Atlantis will rise from the ocean and dominate the planet.


Which IS it...???

12 posted on 06/09/2007 2:57:40 PM PDT by JB in Whitefish
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Note: this topic is dated 6/9/2007.

Blast from the Past.

Thanks CarrotAndStick.

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.

13 posted on 02/12/2013 8:13:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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