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Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Printable Version
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Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Printable Version

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Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - narayanan - 03-10-2007

Can we sort the facts from the myths on this "Sethusamudram Project" and the opposition to it?

Consider the following article:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->March 18, 2007
Stop Setu Project, save South India

Setusamudram Project and impending tsunami devastation


Ramar bridge (Ram Setu) had saved the coastline during tsunami 2004; so stop Setu Project. Breaking the bridge with a 300-meter wide canal will suck the next, impending, tsunami directly into the Indian coastline. Devastation will be incalculable, particularly in southern India. Government of India should stop further work on Setusamudram Project and stop meddling with the natural protective structure of Ram Setu.

By Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

The Ramar bridge (at a high elevation) from the rest of the shoal accumulations acted as a natural barrier preventing the direct devastation of the entire Indian coastline south and southwest of Nagapattinam.

Setusamudram Project has been put on fast track, with little concern for detailed impact analyses on lives of coastal people and the imperative of continuous dredging operations to operate the channel.

The most devastating comment on the project comes from Dr. Tad S. Murthy: "I like this (Setusamudram) project but there is a flaw. The entrance to the channel should be re-oriented towards the eastern side. Otherwise, there is a chance that it may create a deepwater route for another devastating tsunami. This may cause huge destruction in Kerala." Let me explain why the warning should be taken seriously.

During the last tsunami, the Ramar bridge (at a high elevation) from the rest of the shoal accumulations acted as a natural barrier preventing the direct devastation of the entire Indian coastline south and southwest of Nagapattinam.

This shows the spread of the massive displacement of waters displaced by the plate tectonic event at Aceh. The spread was dosing the southern Tamil Nadu coastline, circled the entire Sri Lanka island and moved partially into Kerala and towards the Ramar bridge. This circling around Sri Lanka occurred because the Ramar bridge acted as a natural shoal barrier preventing the inflow of waters.

If a Setusamudram channel is dug through the bridge, it will act as a channel for the waters to flow directly into the entire southern Indian coastline beyond Dhanush-kodi and into the coastline of Kerala right into the Konkan region. The devastation will be incalculable.

This clearly shows how Ramar bridge (Ram Setu) had acted as 'a high wall' and, in fact, saved most of the coastline west and northwest of Dhanushkodi from devastation.

There are clear indications that the environmental clearance was done without taking into account fundamental engineering and cost-benefit factors:
1.      Effect of a tsunami-type of event on the project (all scientists are unanimous that a recurrence of tsunamis cannot be ruled out).
2.      Locations for dumping the dredged sand
3.      Costs of continuous dredging given the continuous sea currents, which tend to create the shoals and again rebuild the Ramar bridge making the project inoperable for most of the time.
4.      The types of naval craft which can navigate through the project channel (apparently, the heavy oil tankers cannot go through this channel and will continue to circumnavigate around Sri Lanka and through Straits of Malacca to reach the markets of South- East and East Asia. There has been no market study of the numbers and types of vessels that will navigate through the channel and the freight rates expected to be paid by these vessels for being tugged through the channel.

In the interests of safety of the lives of the coastal people, it is prudent to stop the project work until the fundamental factors are re-studied and re-evaluated. It is also essential to involve NIOT and create a Marine Archaeological Unit to study the archaeology of the Ramar bridge and Kizhakkarai (Tiruchendur) where a s'ankha industry flourishes. It will be a tragedy of incalculable proportion to the cultural traditions of India, if this industry were to be devastated by the project.

It will be prudent to study the impact of the project on the cultural aspirations of the people and industries such as the ones that support livelihood of s'ankha divers. Impact on fisheries and future projects for desalination of seawater to provide drinking water to coastal towns should also be evaluated. The possibility of choosing an alternative route for the channel with little impact on the Ramar bridge should also be re-studied, taking into account the satellite image analyses which show that the secular historical trend of incursions and recessions of seawaters from almost the entire Indian coastline from Dwaraka through Gulf of Khambat, through Gulf of Mannar up to Ganga Sagar (West Bengal) are caused by a number of factors not excluding plate tectonics and global warming cycles.

The received narratives of the submergence of Kumarikandam should be a pointer to the imperative of careful studies before embarking on projects which hurt the cultural sentiments of the people who are inheritors of a glorious sea-faring, maritime, riverine civilization continuum.

(The writer is heading Sarasvati Research Centre and he is a former Sr. Exec., Asian Development Bank. He can be contacted at kalyan97@yahoo.com)
http://tinyurl.com/2fj7rz <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - narayanan - 03-10-2007

Let me focus first on the science/engineering behind the following statements:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The most devastating comment on the project comes from Dr. Tad S. Murthy: "I like this (Setusamudram) project but there is a flaw. The entrance to the channel should be re-oriented towards the eastern side. Otherwise, there is a chance that it may create a deepwater route for another devastating tsunami. This may cause huge destruction in Kerala." Let me explain why the warning should be taken seriously.

During the last tsunami, the Ramar bridge (at a high elevation) from the rest of the shoal accumulations acted as a natural barrier preventing the direct devastation of the entire Indian coastline south and southwest of Nagapattinam.

This shows the spread of the massive displacement of waters displaced by the plate tectonic event at Aceh. The spread was dosing the southern Tamil Nadu coastline, circled the entire Sri Lanka island and moved partially into Kerala and towards the Ramar bridge. This circling around Sri Lanka occurred because the Ramar bridge acted as a natural shoal barrier preventing the inflow of waters.

If a Setusamudram channel is dug through the bridge, it will act as a channel for the waters to flow directly into the entire southern Indian coastline beyond Dhanush-kodi and into the coastline of Kerala right into the Konkan region. The devastation will be incalculable.

This clearly shows how Ramar bridge (Ram Setu) had acted as 'a high wall' and, in fact, saved most of the coastline west and northwest of Dhanushkodi from devastation.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


DID the immersed sandbank (which is what the "Ramar Bridge" is) in fact have any appreciable effect on the tsunami or its severity? And will a 300 m shallow channel cut into it, have any effect on that?

I frankly don't see how. Elsewhere I read that this channel is only going to be deep enough to allow 10 ton cargoes to go through, which maybe means a ship drawing maybe 10 m?

Let us assume that the channel is 300 m wide, and it is 20 m deep. That's 6000 square meters area, increased from the present 3000 square meters. A net increase of 3000 sq.m.

Compare that to the area needed for a 1m increase in water height over a coastline of, say, 300 km. That would be 300,000 sq. m.

So let us assume that the tsunami zips through the channel at 1000 m/sec. (ha ha!) It will then, according to the Law of Conservation of Mass, crash ashore at an awesome 1000*3000/300,000 = 10 m/s = 22.37 mph. With a height of 3 feet. Devastating all of South India with its sheer mass of garbage.
But really, the channel is perpendicular to the path of any "expected" tsunami - viz, ones from the Aceh fault.

And - the channel is actually in the lee of Sri Lanka. So exactly WHERE is the tsunami coming from?

Let's see - the velocity through the channel must be the component (at about 80 degrees) of the backwash from the tsunami hitting the TamilNadu coast.

So - the 1000 m/s must be UCos(80) where U is tsunami speed hitting the TN coast. So U is at least 5758 m/s = 12,882 mph. Oh, yeah! And we should be worried about the 23 mph, 1 m high wave lapping ashore on the Kerala coast, shouldn't we?

IOW, I must be missing something huge. What is it?





Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - narayanan - 03-10-2007

Second set of concerns:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There are clear indications that the environmental clearance was done without taking into account fundamental engineering and cost-benefit factors:
1.      Effect of a tsunami-type of event on the project (all scientists are unanimous that a recurrence of tsunamis cannot be ruled out).
2.      Locations for dumping the dredged sand
3.      Costs of continuous dredging given the continuous sea currents, which tend to create the shoals and again rebuild the Ramar bridge making the project inoperable for most of the time.
4.      The types of naval craft which can navigate through the project channel (apparently, the heavy oil tankers cannot go through this channel and will continue to circumnavigate around Sri Lanka and through Straits of Malacca to reach the markets of South- East and East Asia. There has been no market study of the numbers and types of vessels that will navigate through the channel and the freight rates expected to be paid by these vessels for being tugged through the channel. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Let's take those one by one:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1.      Effect of a tsunami-type of event on the project (all scientists are unanimous that a recurrence of tsunamis cannot be ruled out).<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

True. Neither can the effect of an asteroid landing 10 km off Kanyakumari, which will probably cause an appreciation in beach-front property values in Coimbatore.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->2.      Locations for dumping the dredged sand<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
How about along the Kerala coastline? Erosion here is doing a good job of undoing the effects of the earthquake that Shri Parasuram caused by hurling his axe into the Marxist Fault along the Western Ghat. Or, dump it as a sort of (Kalyan)Ramar Bridge, directly blocking any tsunami and hence blocking any damage to the TN coast? Or use it to build an island from where the a LookOut can sit on a coconut tree and warn of the next tsunami?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->3.      Costs of continuous dredging given the continuous sea currents, which tend to create the shoals and again rebuild the Ramar bridge making the project inoperable for most of the time.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Interesting argument. I was told that "the annual cost of dredging is half the capital cost". In other words, the capital cost is only twice the annual dredging cost. Perhaps the dredged sand can be used precisely to redirect the sand? Anyway, I don't see that the presence of a dredger makes the channel inoperable - Kochi port was created by dredgers, and they have lashing monsoon winds and tides several months of the year, like the east coast does. The East Coast also has cyclones .. more on this later.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The types of naval craft which can navigate through the project channel (apparently, the heavy oil tankers cannot go through this channel and will continue to circumnavigate around Sri Lanka and through Straits of Malacca to reach the markets of South- East and East Asia. There has been no market study of the numbers and types of vessels that will navigate through the channel and the freight rates expected to be paid by these vessels for being tugged through the channel.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I suspect that since the author is unaware of any market study on this, there is really no basis for saying that such a channel will NOT have a significant effect on the coastal economy. True, today there may be a depressed market for east-west coastal trade, because you have to use deep-sea ships, and go around SL, a detour of some 350 miles at least. Also, you have to face the dangers of the Indian Ocean off SL's coast, both natural and man-made.

So today, the threat of bad weather somewhere far out is enough to stop this trade. The author ignores this (a sure annual disruption for several months of the year) while citing the possible delays to shipping due to dredging operations. This does not seem to be a fair evaluation of the situation at all.

Much more on this later...

There is anyway NO reason for supertankers plying the Straits of Malacca (which means they are carrying oil to or returning empty from Japan/Malaysia/Australia) to go through any passage between India and SL, so the argument on that is irrelevant. Question is whether supertankers between the Persian Gulf and BD, or Kolkatta, would ply this route. For supertankers, this is probably no deal, because they are large ocean-going vessels. However, what the channel WILL do is open up the market for smaller Indian-based operators to trade LNG, LPG and oils between the West and East coasts, using ships small enough for them, operating close enough to run for cover if bad weather threatens. If u r caught out beyond SL today, and a sudden storm comes up, u have the choice of going into LTTE ports, or sinking.

So again, I have to question the author's logic here.





Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-10-2007

Firstl there is no need to use swear words like cr**p (as the Indo-European linguists do with their asterisks).

What has gone wrong is the back-of-the-envelope comments sought to be made by narayanan.

It is clear that he has not the seen the tsunami simulations.

Won't it be a good idea to start with the project details as spelt out instead of nit-picking on some author?

Stay with the facts of the project, to start with, get the facts right and then, flights of fancy (Aviation or maritime) can occur.

Has the commentator read the NIOT report, for instance?

k <!--emo&Tongue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tongue.gif' /><!--endemo-->


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - narayanan - 03-10-2007

The commentator is semi-literate, but has edited out the "cr*p" designation with all due apologies. I have been trying to point out patiently for a very long time that opposing public policy should be done with due care to avoid hype, because otherwise it destroys our credibility. There are SEVERAL issues with the opposition to this SS project that bear careful watching.

What exactly does the NIOT report say, please (I have no idea what NIOT is, honestly), that contradicts the above concerns?

1. How does this channel make a significant effect on the vulnerability of the South Indian coastline to tsunamis?

2. How does the possible delay due to dredging compare with the certain delays and extreme dangers associated with circumnavigating Sri Lanka in cyclone season?

3. If there is an engineering report out on the disposition of dredged sand, is it still true that no study has been made on how best to dispose of it?

My concern about the opposition to the project is precisely that the points made in the oppostion petitions etc. do not make sense, but are ascribed to people with credentials that should be impressive. So I do expect to see explanations whose lucidity makes it clear why these people have impressive credentials. So far that is not happening. Otherwise it tends to validate that recent book by a couple of ppl who claim that India is basically a society where "Social Position" is all that matters, not common sense.

To me the project seems like a straightforward thing, long overdue. The people of South India have been denied basic government support for development for far too many decades, and have had to fend for themselves. When we ask WHY, we are told that "it is in the Report", or "So-and-So who is a Nobel Prize Winner has said so", or something patronizing of that sort.

Sorry, I have to ask for clear answers that make sense, when someone sends me stuff asking me to sign on to it. I will listen.


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - narayanan - 03-10-2007

Fairly informative page on the project at Wikpiedia. The Tsunami Theory has not made it there yet, apparently.

Another good site (but with very obvious anti-SSC project bias) is a technical BLOG on the project:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The following Posting is reproduced from: www.sethunews.blogspot.com


2005, July 5, sethunews exclusive

Research Papers challenging Tuticorin Port Trust's observations on Tsunami, Cyclones and Sedimentation issues related with SSCP and Palk Bay

Links:

1. Indomer-Alkyon’s tsunami simulation model reveals the contrary! It reveals that Sethu Canal will be dangerous to both Indian and Sri Lankan Coastlines instead!! in
http://www.asiantribune.com/show_article.php?id=2475


2. http://lareef.blogspot.com/2005/04/sethusa...of-tsunami.html

(This article 'Will to Disaster' was subsequently published in 'The Economic and Political Weekly' dated 25 June 2005 ) - www.epw.org.in


Both these articles are available in this blog also.


Titles:

1. Sethusamudram Shipping Canal would destroy the coastline stability of Sri Lanka and India. - Posted on June 10, 2005

2. The Will to Disaster - Posted on May 13, 2005


Additional Sources available in this blog that refute TPT's answers still further:


1. Is ignorance Bliss? - Posted on May 25, 2005

2. Movie in 3 dimension, depicting inundation by tsunami waves on the shores of South India and Sri Lanka - Posted on May 18, 2005

3. Animation Movie on the pattern of interaction of the December 26th Tsunami waves with Palk Bay - Posted on May 14, 2005

4. December 26th Tsunami GIF and QT movies on a 3d platform - Posted on May 13, 2005



....................................................................................................................................................................


Tuticorin Port Trust's Response to Prime Minister's Office's note (dated March 8, 2005) of reservation on SSCP

courtesy: www.sethusamudram.gov.in



Answers given to Prime Minister’s Office by the Tuticorin Port Trust (probably in late April – early May) and most likely to be responsible for gaining a clearance from it, has been released in the official website of Sethusamudram Project (www.sethusamudram.gov.in) on 30 June 2005.

(This response is most likely from Dr.P.Chandramohan of Indomer Hydraulics Pvt.Ltd., Chennai. It is noteworthy to remember here that he was an NIO scientist till 1997. In 1998 he had started his company ‘Indomer’.) (His company’s website: www.indomer.com )


It is also likely, that Prof.Victor Rajamanickam, who currently heads the Department of Disaster Management at SASTRA Engineering College, Tanjore (and who had been the head of of the Department of Earth Sciences, Tamil University, Tanjore till 2003 – when he left for SASTRA) would have contributed to this text; but it is felt, that, it is Dr.Chandramohan, who is its author)


This resonse was made public on June 30, 2005, that is 2 days before the inauguration of the SSCP at Madurai.

– www.sethunews.blogspot.com



Following is the full text of TPT's answers as published in its website


…………………………………………………………………………………………..

PMO Note

1. Subsequent to the Tsunami calamity, certain urgent technical issues have arisen regarding the SSCP which have been noted with alarm in responsible sections of the scientific community of the country



Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

PMO Note is the summary of an article titled " Pre- and Post Tsunami – Is the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project Technically feasible ? " which appeared in the Economic and Political weekly dated January -22, 2005.

The article is contributed by Dr. R. Ramesh, M.B., B.S., who is a medical professional. His expertise in the complex phenomenon of Tsunami and its impact is debatable. His readings on the subject of tsunami and the project region are limited as evident from the references cited by him.

There have not been any observations made by any scientist on the basis of scientific evidence except for some statements in the media attributed to Dr. Ted Murty, NRI Scientist about the need for reorientation of the channel entrance in the Bay of Bengal. This is dealt with separately.



PMO Note

2. The Tsunami waves which were generated on December 26, 2004 by an earthquake of 9 Richter magnitude off the west coast of north Sumatra traveled westwards and eastwards. The eastern wave was blocked by the Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian landmasses. A portion of the undissipated energy of this eastern wave was transferred to the western wave front traveling towards Sri Lanka and the Indian east Coast.

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

Yes.

This is also supported by animation models generated in India and also outside.




PMO Note

3. Before touching Sri Lanka, the tsunami was traveling westward. When it struck Sri Lanka and the east coast of India, a clock wise wind was created with the Palk Bay as it hub. Had the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal been operational at the time of this tsunami, the currents in the Palk Bay and the associated turbulence would have damaged the canal considerably and would have caused a wide disposal of the dredged material placed at sea.

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

A slide from an animation model by M/s. Indomer Coastal Hydraulic (P) Ltd., Chennai in association with M/s. Alkyon Hydraulic Consultancy and Research by the Netherlands is enclosed (slide 1) . This clearly establishes that Palk Bay and Palk strait were comparatively free from the turbulence caused by the Tsunami in the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. This slide is also supported by the animation model of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology , Japan (Slide 2)

In the case of tsunami, significant damages have been and will be seen only along the near shore beach areas because of resistance of near shore structures against the Tsunami passage. The very location of the Sethusamudram channel far away from the Indian or Sri Lankan coast pre-empts this possibility.

Scientists have also expressed the view that the channel situated in mid sea can not show any resistance displayed by near shore structures except for the possibility of bed scouring which may have the impact of increasing the depth of the channel as witnessed in Chennai Port.

Tuticorin Port, situated in the Gulf of Mannar and very close to the project region, did not experience any significant change in the bathymetry due to tsunami's impact.

If a clockwise swirl had indeed been created in the region with the Palk Bay as its hub ( as stated in the note but not supported by the animation models), such clockwise swirl would have taken the dredged materials placed at sea, proposed to be dumped in depths of about 20-30 M in the Bay of Bengal away from Palk Strait. A quantity of around 34.5 million M3 of dredged materials is proposed to be dumped in an area of about 25 Sq.KM, which will raise the sea-bed by an average of 1.4 M only. The clockwise swirl would have carried this deep into the Bay of Bengal, redistributing it over a very wide area making the impact of such redistribution, even if it would have taken place, insignificant in view of the wide area over which it would be redistributed and greater depths available North and Northeast of the proposed dumping location in Bay of Bengal

Therefore, there is no scientific basis for the apprehension that the shipping channel , if it were in place during tsunami, would have been damaged by the currents and / or associated turbulence. `Wide dispersal of the dredged materials placed at sea' would have had insignificant effect.



PMO Note

4. The SSCP is an off shore shipping canal project in the Palk Bay. It aims to shorten the distance navigated by ships sailing form the west coast and bound for ports on the east coast by avoiding circum-navigation of Sri Lanka. On the completion of the SSCP, ships would navigate through the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay and enter the Bay of Bengal directly

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

Yes.



PMO Note

5. The total length of the canal in the Palk Bay is 152.2 Km. This is divided into three legs – the Southern leg in the Adam's Bridge area which is 20 KM, the northern leg in the Palk Strait area which is 54.2 Km and the central portion which is 78 Km in length. Dredging would have to be done in the southern and northern legs to dredge the shallow sea bed of the Palk Bay and Adam's Bridge to a depth of 12 metres in order to make navigation possible. The central leg does not require dredging as it lies the adequate depth of 12 metres.

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

The statistics furnished in the Note are based on the Techno-Economic Feasibility Report prepared by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur in July 2004. The Detailed Project Report since submitted to the Ministry of Shipping, RT & H, has suggested some minor changes in the channel alignment on navigational considerations. The length of the proposed channel now is 167.57 Km , with the southern leg at Adam's Bridge area having a length of 34.92 Km, the northern leg in Palk strait 54.33 Km, and the intervening stretches of Palk Bay, not requiring any dredging, having a length of 78.32 Km




PMO Note

6. This is the first effort by the India to dredge a navigation channel, which is located 30-40 Kms off shore. It is also the longest sea bed dredging project undertaken by India.

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

Yes.



PMO Note

7. The problems that will be faced by SSCP are expected to be

(i) problems due to sedimentation

(ii) problems due to tropical cyclonic disturbances and

(iii) issues related to dumping of the dredged materials

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

Significant issues relating to the SSCP, which has a major dredging component, are :-

i.Sedimentation in the Channel which will determine the stability of the channel and maintenance dredging.

ii.Identification of dumping locations for dredged materials disposal with the objectives of -

a)minimising environmental impact to manageable levels and

b)ensuring that the dumped spoils do not re-enter the dredged channel.

Though the National environmental Engineering Research Institute had scientifically identified the dumping areas supported by modelling studies, further modelling studies were carried out by Tuticorin Port Trust during September 2004 – January 2005 with involvement of Alkyon Hydraulic Consultancy and Research bv the Netherlands for validation and verification of NEERI's findings, and for optimisation of distance to dumping locations. While validating NEERI's findings the studies have indicated the possibility of opitimising the lead distance. However, considering the environmental sensitivity of the project region, it has been decided to retain the dumping locations suggested by NEERI.



PMO Note

8. In order to tackle these problems, detailed information and knowledge needs to be gathered regarding sedimentation and cyclone disturbances in the Palk Bay

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

Tuticorin Port Trust has carried out detailed wave modeling studies, tide and current circulation modeling studies, nautical studies and sedimentation modeling studies inter-alia analysing in-depth the sedimentation regime along the entire channel length.

As regards tropical cyclonic disturbances, " information on the normal wave conditions is required for further studies on sedimentation and erosion and to establish the limiting conditions for navigation through the channel. Information on the extreme wave conditions is required for the design of various structures, like groynes and bank protection," (Report of Indomer Coastal Hydraulics (P) Ltd., Chennai on Hydradynamic modeling and ship Maneuvering studies for the SSCP). Wave modeling studies of international standards, involving an internationally acclaimed organisation, have been carried out to meet these requirements.

The following findings of the modeling studies are relevant vis-a-vis sedimentation in the channel in Palk Bay / Palk Strait which the Note primarily deals with-

"Based on the computed sediment transports, it can be concluded that the incoming sediment volume (23,100 m3 ) is of the same order of magnitude as the transported sediment along the channel (32,500 m3). This would imply the following -

•At the shallow zone of Palk Strait, the channel depth will remain constant at CD (-) 12m (the incoming sediment volume from long shore transport approximately equals the outgoing sediment volume due to transports parallel to the ship channel). This implies that no maintenance dredging is required along this channel section (at Palk Strait).

•East and west of shallow zone, however, the transported sediment volume will deposit due to reduced sediment transport capacities. The deposited sediment volume equals to 32,500 m3/y."

The relevance of the findings is two-fold:

(i) Detailed field investigations/ modelling studies have been carried out in the project region.

(ii) There will be very little sedimentation in the channel in Palk Strait, compared to other approach channels in the country.

The general philosophy followed worldwide in designing an off shore structure is that predictions about the ocean environment have to be made first, ideally based on the history of the environment for 'hundreds of years of data' (A.K.Malhotra – "Ocean Science and Technology" p 32, 1980)". "In actual fact, the data for a particular location usually cover a much shorter period and, therefore, are a poor basis for predicting the future from the oceanographer – statistician's point of view. Despite this, valid operating and design values can be obtained by one of several methods" (A.K.Malhotra). This is normally done through predictive modelling, as carried out by Tuticorin Port for SSCP.

The issues relating to cyclonical disturbances are discussed in Section 12.



PMO Note

9. Palk Bay is one of the major permanent sediment sinks of India. In a study entitled " Littoral Drift Sources and Sinks along the Indian Coastal by Chandramohan and others in 2001, the sea depth reduction due to sedimentation in the Palk Bay has been estimated to be 1 cm per year Marine and riverine sources contribute to these sediments. In a publication entitled " Rapid Land Building Activity along Vedaranyam Coast and its Possible Implications" brought out by Ramasamy and others in 1998, the sediment building activities due to sea currents in the Vedanarayanam-Jaffna peninsular stretch of Palk Bay has been estimated to be 29 metres per year. Similarly in another study on the Sethusamudram Canal published by Rajamanickem in 2004, the sedimentation rate has been estimated to be 24 cms per year in the Manamelkudi area of Palk Bay

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

The Note refers to findings reproduced in some research papers which are based on micro-regional studies or application of mathematical formulae.

The study of Rajamanickam has been mentioned. Rajamanickam says in his paper – "Sethusamudram Canal: The life line of Tamilnadu" (National Seminar on Ecological balance and Sethusamudram Canal, 1-3rd October, 2004, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Area Studies, Alagappa University), that "it is interesting to see that the maritime surveys conducted between 1960 and 1986 reveal the change of contour to the tune of 6m shallowness in the Palk Strait. That shows that around 24 cm per year is being silted off in the Strait." The Note only quotes this part of his observation but fails to add that he has actively supported the construction of the navigation channel to remedy his natural phenomenon. In his paper, Rajamanickam visualizes "the merger of this two (spit from Thalaimannar side in Sri Lanka and spit from Manalmelkudi in India) within the next 50 years. Once these spits join, the Palk Strait will become into two lagoon of the north and south. The flushing of waters from Gulf of Mannar to Bay of Bengal will be stopped". He has further opined -"Because of such ocean circulation, Tamil Nadu is getting monsoonal rainfall. The day siltation initiated, one must have observed the drifting of cyclones and low depressions to Nellore and Orissa.

Slowly the quantum of rainfall in Tamil Nadu and the order of cyclones in delta region have been in the decreasing order. If the flushing is completely stopped, the monsoonal winds and ocean circulations may not be directed through this Strait. If such action takes place, Tamil Nadu may not get proper rainfall and subsequently the granary of rice, the Cauvery deltas will become a desert by the turn of this century.

The moment, Sethusamudram Canal is brought in force, that Canal may become the draining canal first for all the silts dumped along the coast of Palk in the past. There is every possibility to retrieve back the clear water and comparatively deeper shelf in many areas. Such increase of depth and clarity of water may enable the delicious fish varieties to get more populated and fishermen in this region can do the fishing right in front of the hamlets as in the case of 19th century. The per capita income of the fishing community of nearly 40,000 people may go up many times. The delta region may get good rainfall and may plan to go for cultivation without the dependence of Mettur water. In the beginning, the Sethusamudram Canal may face frequent dredging due to the sliding of the silts dumped earlier. In few years this will be settled. The fear complex developed among the fishing community is baseless. Instead of loosing their fishing and trawling, they will get more catch due to the International navigation as in the case of Panama.

Therefore, scientific evidence is being cited against the project when the scientist who has produced such evidence goes on to say in the same research paper that the scientific evidence leads him to believe that an environmental and ecological disaster is waiting to happen unless the Sethusamudram Ship Channel is urgently created to provide a draining canal for the silt in Palk Bay/Palk Strait.

For a dredging project involving creation of a navigation channel, sedimentation in the project setting and in the channel as a result of sedimentation regime in the area need to be studied. In the case of SSCP,, sedimentation transport rate along the channel and long shore sediment transport across the channel need estimation for computation of annual maintenance dredging requirements. Such estimation has been done in the past (earlier studies) through modelling and radio-active tracer analysis. Tuticorin Port Trust has carried out sedimentation modelling in the project area involving a world-renowned organisation which has clearly established that sedimentation transport rate along and across the channel is insignificant.



PMO Note

10. Those findings indicate that there are specific regions in Palk Bay where the annual sea depth deduction is 25-75 times higher than the average value proposed by Chandramohan etc. for the entire Bay. The two legs of the SSCP where dredging is required happen to cross two such micro regions with high sedimentation rates.

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

The legs of the SSCP where dredging will take place pass through two micro regions with high sedimentation rates – Adam's Bridge and Palk Strait. This prompted Tuticorin Port Trust to commission further modeling studies to verify and validate NEERI's findings. The modeling studies have led to reliable estimation of sediment transportation rate along and across the channel in these regions.



PMO Note

11. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project carried out by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has not taken into account the sediment contribution from the rivers flowing into Palk Bay. This study does not pinpoint the sediment source for about 99.4 % of the total sedimentation volume.

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

While undertaking the EIA Study NEERI have generated primary data in addition to relying upon secondary data. Primary data has also been used by them for validation of Secondary data. They had also carried out mathematical/ simulation studies. Tuticorin Port Trust, in its endeavour to verify and validate NEERI's findings, had commissioned further modelling/ simulation studies.

P.Chandramohan et al (Littoral drifts sources and sinks along the Indian Coast, Current Science, Vol.81, No.3, 10 August 2001) in their study had estimated 0.3 x 1010 m3 sediment deposition in Palk Bay region, in an area of 117 km x 105 km over a period of 51 years. M/s.Indomer Coastal Hydraulics (P) Ltd. (of which Dr.P.Chandramohan is the Managing Director) have estimated sediment deposit of 32, 500 m3/y in Palk Strait part of SSCP, which will have a length of 54 kms. A comparison of the estimates is shown below:

1.Sedimentation capacity in the channel,

proportionate to estimate to

Chandramohan et at .

54x0.3x1010 = 77,569 m3

117x105x51



2.Sedimentation computed by

TPT modelling study

Along the channel-

Incoming sediment volume =23,100 m3 Outgoing sediment volume =32,500 m3

Across the channel-

Deposited sediment volume =32,500 m3 --------------------------

Total =88,100m3

==================

Therefore, the findings from the modelling studies compare favourably with results of research studies available for the area. The imputation that the studies do not pin-point the sediment source for about 99.4% of the total sedimentation volume appears to be based on the following

(i)Total sediment load computed:

58.8 x 106m3

by Chandramohan et al for entire Palk Bay

(117 x105 sq.km.)



(ii)Less net annual sediment transport :

0.2657 x 106m3

Computed by NEERI for Adam's Bridge area

(which has a length of 17 kms)



(iii) Less estimation made by Sanil Kumar et al for net littoral sediment

transportation:

0.095 x 106 m3 into Palk Bay from Nagapattinam coast.

Unaccounted, according to the Note

58.4393 x 106m3

The primary source of the sediments deposited on the beaches is the weathering of the land; the sediments are then transported through rivers to the ocean' (Chandramohan et al, 2001). It is also estimated that 'The quantities of materials contributed by head land erosion and aeolian transport are both less than 2 per cent of river transport' (Chandramohan et al, 2001).

Therefore, when the sedimentation due to littoral drift from the north (Nagapattinam) estimated by Sanil Kumar et al (2002) and the total sedimentation load for Palk Bay region computed by Chandramohan et al (2001 – Sanil Kumar was also part of this research group) are accepted as valid, the source of the difference is very clear-sediment contribution from the rivers. This is supported by the following excerpts- `Vaigai, Vaishali and Valryar rivers are the major sediment sources entering the palk bay region'. (Malik, T.C., Indian Journal of Marine Science, 1983-12,203-208). `Large amounts of sediments from the pediments are removed constantly by rainfall and carried by minor rivers and dumped into the Palk bay'.(Loveson et al, Sea Level Variation and its impact on Coastal Environment, ed Rajamanickam, 1990, PP159-178).

The studies carried out by the Project authorities are for the purpose of delineating the project setting in order to identify the environmental consequences of the proposed project, assess their impact, evaluate the environmental viability of the project and devise an Environmental Management Plan to minimise the environmental impacts. The findings of these studies are substantiated and supported by research studies of the region in which the project is situated.




PMO Note

12. Out of the 61 cyclones that have crossed the Tamilnadu coast in the period 1891-1995, 6 have directly crossed the Palk Bay. The Met Department considers the coastal stretch between Nagapattinam and Pamban as a high risk zone for tropical cyclones. A study entitled " Identification of Costs Vulnerable for Severe Tropical Cyclones – Statistical Evaluation" published in 2004 has named this coastal stretch as the most vulnerable to severe tropical cyclones among the many coastal regions of the Bay of Bengal. Studies on the pattern of movement of sediments during the cyclonic storms are not available at present. However, it is known that these storms have a tendency to transport sediments into Palk Bay from the Nagapattinam coast and from Gulf of Mannar

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

'The most damaging oceanographic episode that coastal residents can face is a cyclone with a combination of wind, waves, surge and rain' (Antonio Mascarenhas, Current Science, Vol.86, No.3, 10 February 2004). An important prerequisite for sustainable development, therefore, is resilience towards natural hazards and elimination of disasters.

In terms of landfall, among the severe cyclones over a century, according to Mascarenhas, '55 crossed the coast of Tamilnadu, 69 hit Andhra Pradesh, 58 affected Orissa, 33 struck West Bengal.' Impacts of tropical cyclones have been and continue to be the most disruptive recurring events for the east coast of India. From available records, Mascarenhas concludes -

(i) Andhra Coast is the most vulnerable to several tropical cyclones. About 32% of the cyclones forming in the Bay of Bengal make landfall along this coastal state every year.

(ii) Orissa follows with 27%, Tamilnadu with 26% and West Bengal with 15%.

(iii) The Andhra Coast has been subjected to storms, with a highly significant increase in the mean frequency of severe storms incident on Andhra Coast after 1975 as compared to earlier periods.

(iv) Orissa is affected by the highest frequency of severe cyclones in October and November every year, with the highest probability (56%) of at least one cyclone crossing the coast and 1% probability of four cyclones crossing Orissa every year.

(v) In terms of storm surges, the West Bengal coast is highly vulnerable to attack by storm surges with heights ranging from 2-12m.

The coast of Orissa has witnessed maximum surge heights of 7 m. The Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu Coasts are vulnerable where observed surge heights are in the range of 1 to 6 m.

(vi) Andhra and Orissa are the most vulnerable to coastal inundations.

To summarise his findings,

(a) In terms of incidence of severe tropical cyclones, Andhra and Orissa are more vulnerable than the Tamilnadu coast.

(b) In terms of storm surges, West Bengal and Orissa coasts are highly vulnerable, while the Tamilnadu Coast is vulnerable.

© Andhra and Orissa are the most vulnerable to coastal inundations.

Therefore, absolute figures relating to Tamilnadu Coast need to be compared with the rest of the east coast. The statistics furnished in para 11 of the Note that `against the incidence of 61 cyclones on the Tamilnadu coast during the period 1891-1995, only 6 had directly crossed the Palk Bay' is also relevant in this context as in simple arithmetical language it conveys that the Palk Bay is less vulnerable to incidence of cyclones than the rest of the Tamilnadu Coast. The Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project was originally conceived by the British as early as in 1860 with the objective of providing sheltered passage to merchant and navy ships, sparing them from the vagaries of nature and to provide safe anchorage during the tropical cyclones normally encountered off the Tamilnadu Coast during the North East monsoon (October – December).

The Note cites the incidence of cyclones in the project area as the reason for reviewing the need for the project when the major ports of Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Haldia are situated in coastal areas more vulnerable to such incidence. So is Kakinada where a major port facility is coming up.

PMO Note

13. There are two previous records of tsunami destruction in this area. The first record is of an earthquake, which originated at the Car Nicobar islands on December 31, 1881. It had generated a tsunami in the Bay of Bengal that had been felt at Pamban. The second record is of August 27, 1883 when the Karkathova volcano of Indonesia erupted and created a tsunami that reached Nagapattinam.

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

The experience of 26 December, 2004 showed that Palk Bay faced less turbulence caused by the tsunami than in Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean.

'Tsunami is basically a transient and pressure wave due to compression of fluid by the energy released during the process of earthquake or subducting movement of tectonic plates of earth. This can be surmised as the reverse process of water hammer in the pipe flow. In case of tsunami, the damages can be seen only along the near shore beach areas because of resistance of near shore structures against the Tsunami passage, whereas Sethusamudram Shipping Canal can not show such resistance except for bed scouring (Dr.B.Nagendra Kumar, Scientist, NIOT). He also says that redistribution of bed sediments in Palk Bay due to turbulence, if any, generated by the loss of tsunami wave energy, was a possibility and adds - 'if shipping channel had been present, these sediments would also have been redistributed along the channel as a part of instantaneous process; however, the subsequent over passage of tsunami at the Adam's Bridge and onslaught of higher tsunami energy must have generated high flushing flows along the shipping channel driving these redistributed sediments into Gulf of Mannar for next stage of redistribution at high speeds.'

The implications of these expert views are two fold -

(i) Only near shore areas and near shore structure are damaged by the tsunami wave energy

ii) The worst case scenario is that had the canal been in place on 26 December, 2004, it would have experienced bed scouring.

'The Hindu' of 27-02-2005 reports that Seismologist Arun Bapat has scotched rumours about another large temblor or tsunami. According to him, "Another earthquake of such a magnitude and another tsunami is next to impossible for the next 70- 100 years." The probability of occurrence of tsunami similar to that of 26-12-2004 may not be significant in the time scale of historical events. It is a moot point to consider whether the probability of occurrence of a rare event such as tsunami should affect development projects which normally have a life span of upto 50 years. In the DPR for SSCP an economic life of 30 years is taken into consideration for financial analysis.

" The significance of a net work of canals and drains, in addition to tidal creaks, within the low lands of East Godavari District need to be noted. Such inter-linked drainage systems have alleviated the impacts of storms by receiving, accommodating and returning surge waters back into the sea" (Antonio Mascarenhas, 'Oceanographic validity of buffer zones for the east cost of India: A hydro-meteorological perspective,' Current Science, Vol. 86, 3, 10 February, 2004). On 26.12.2004 and also the succeeding days, it was reported that the River Cooum in Chennai accommodated the excess water from Marine incursions caused by the tsunami. By the same scientific evidence, the SSCP should prove to be a boon in the event of surges caused by severe cyclone and tsunami. The observation made by Rajamanickam (see para 9) that SSCP is urgently needed to provide a draining canal for Palk Bay is also relevant in this context.



PMO Note

14. Finally, specific dump sites for dredged materials have been identified only for 8.5 to 9.5 per cent of the total dredged spoil. The exact dumping sites for 90.5 to 91.5 percent of the dredged material are not known. Similarly, information about the nature of the dredged spoil is also lacking. This information is available only for about 38.5 -10.6 per cent of the total dredged spoil.

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

Specific dumping sites have been identified and delineated in NEERI's EIA Report in Bay of Bengal, and in the Gulf of Mannar, for dumping of dredged materials from Palk strait and Adam's Bridge respectively, contrary to what is stated in the paragraph. NEERI had also conducted modelling studies for predicting dispersal of deposited materials in the Gulf of Mannar. Tuticorin Port Trust has conducted further studies which have not only validated NEERI's proposals, but also suggested possible relocation of the dumping site in Gulf of Mannar nearer the dredging location, which has not been accepted by Tuticorin Port Trust in view of ecological sensitivity of the region. The option of reclamation of about 750 ha. of land in Dhanuskhodi island, lost during the 1964 cyclone, at an additional cost of Rs.100 cr. app. is retained. The paragraph alludes to the estimated quantity of about 7 million.m3 required for reclamation of this area only, when it states that specific dump sites have been identified only for 8.5 to 9.5 % of the total dredged spoil

Information about the nature of the dredged spoil has been furnished in NEERI's Report both for Adam's Bridge area and Palk Strait. Data from earlier reports, sub-bottom profiling and borehole data generated by NEERI etc. provided the basis of such information Tuticorin Port Trust has carried out, through the NIOT, more detailed and sophisticated sub-bottom profiling of the project area, vibro-coring in 44 locations and boreholes to further refine the project proposal.


PMO Note

15. Thus, there are huge gaps in the current status of knowledge about the sedimentation regimes existing in the various micro regions of Palk Bay. Knowledge about the effects of tsunamis and cyclones on the dredged material and on the SSCP is also incomplete. The Environmental Impact Assessment and the Technical Feasibility Report prepared by NEERI have ignored these aspects. Yet, the SSCP authority has applied for a no objection certificate from the Ministry of Environment & Forest and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

(i) Sedimentation regime in Palk Bay/Palk Strait has been studied through field studies and modelling studies as adequate and relevant for the project setting and for reliable estimation of maintenance dredging requirements.

(ii) Tsunami and tropical cyclones impact the coast through changes induced by them in wave regime, currents and winds. Modelling studies have produced more than adequate data to examine the impact of extreme conditions on the project, especially on the stability of the channel, net sedimentation, navigability and downtime etc.

(iii) All necessary studies as per international requirements have been carried out by the project authorities to ascertain the environmental viability and technical feasibility of the project.




PMO Note

16. Going ahead with the construction of this mega project without collecting information on the above aspects could lead to major economic, technical and human problems in future that could border on a disaster. It is, therefore, advisable that he project authority for the SSCP should first look into these specific aspects and give their detailed comments thereon. If the project authority feels that these aspects have been adequately taken care of, they should provide convincing and substantial evidence to that effect that will withstand the scrutiny of the scientific community at large.




Tuticorin Port Trust Observations

(i) Sedimentation regime in Palk Bay/Palk Strait has been studied through field studies and modelling studies as adequate and relevant for the project setting and for reliable estimation of maintenance dredging requirements.

(ii) Tsunami and tropical cyclones impact the coast through changes induced by them in wave regime, currents and winds. Modelling studies have produced more than adequate data to examine the impact of extreme conditions on the project, especially on the stability of the channel, net sedimentation, navigability and downtime etc.

(iii) All necessary studies as per international requirements have been carried out by the project authorities to ascertain the environmental viability and technical feasibility of the project. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - narayanan - 03-10-2007

Summary observations of what I see on that BLOG:

1. A lot of claims that any studies done for the project are "inadequate", but without advancing any competing, credible, specific points that would point against the conclusions of these "inadequate" studies. This is the "Snail Darter" all over again.

2. The comments attributed to Dr. "Ted" (Edward, I presume?) Murthy are grossly overblown. Yes, there are simulations showing that the Palk Strait coast line between SL and TN was sheltered - it was in the lee, and a narrow channel. NO, there is absolutely no basis for claiming that a small increase in depth across 300m will have any noticeable impact. The Opposers twist this basic problem with their theory, to claim, now: and this is most interesting: That the bends in the canal WILL obstruct any severe/ sudden waves/ flow increase, BUT THAT WILL ERODE THE CANAL SIDES!!!

Ooo! So now, instead of all Kerala and the entire coast from Delft Island to Ernakulam being devastated BECAUSE of the canal, we see that only the bends in the canal would be devastated.

3. Cyclones are predicted to occur every 4 years there - but their net effect is apparently to sweep out the sediment accumulated in the canal, and make the dredging job much easier.

4. The BIG concern cited now is that the project will hit rock under the sediment - thus vastly increasing project cost. Er... doesn't that mean that the sediment acculumation problem is overblown?


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

[quote=narayanan,Mar 10 2007, 09:52 PM]
Summary observations of what I see on that BLOG:

<!--emo&:bcow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_cowboy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_cowboy.gif' /><!--endemo--> A critical commentator should see the original site sethusamudram.gov.in and all reports contained therein.

When two science professors disagree, should a Public Administration expert arbitrate? Fine, can be done. I suggest n write his concerns to tad s murthy (his email address given below) and let me know what he says and what would be his choice among the 5 alignments considered so far and how each of the 5 alignments would cope with the next tsunami (which incidentally is not like a meteor and repetitively occurs which necessitated, Japan, for e.g. to build protection walls in specific coastal zones; maybe it is a good idea to reevaluate all the 5 alignments and to re-design the chosen alignment to cope with the next tsunami).

Sure, form a committee of experts, I will chair it and give the final report of the committee (since as a non-expert I am most qualified to resolve the quarrels among experts).

http://www.elaw.in/issue/sethu.htm


The project involves cutting of a ship channel to connect Gulf of Mannar and Bay of Bengal so that most of the ships moving between east and west coasts of India can have navigable sea route around the peninsula within India's territorial waters, without circumventing Sri Lanka. But officials say that even after the completion of the project, the depth of the channel between the two nations will only be 12 metre and big vessels like very large crude carriers (VLCCs) won't be able to pass through the channel. "Only medium-size or empty vessels will be able to pass through it,". Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd has been constituted for the implementation of the project. Once the project is completed, it is expected that the sailing time and distance for ships between East and West coast would be considerably reduced

________________________________________________________________________________________________

THREAT OF TSUNAMI IN KERALA

The project will have serious adverse impact in Kerala Coast. The Bay of Bengal entrance of a sea canal project linking India's coasts should be realigned from facing east to northwest to protect the Kerala coast from future tsunamis, says a renowned expert on the phenomenon.

The present orientation of the Sethusamudram canal will "funnel tsunami energy into the channel and this will meet (any) tsunami travelling from the south of Sri Lanka at the southern end of Kerala," Tad S. Murty, an advisor to the government of Canada and an expert on tsunami, told a journalist and an environmental activist in an interview here last month.

He added that this would increase the height of tsunami waves along the Kerala coast.

"It is very easy to show that the canal will indeed provide another route for tsunamis and the energy will be directed towards south Kerala," Murty told journalist Asuran and activist Ramesh Radhakrishnan.

His comments were made available to IANS.

Murty had helped develop a simulation model of the Dec 26 tsunami, which killed over 220,000 people worldwide and about 10,000 in India.

In February, his paper titled Perspectives on Coastal Hazard Preparedness had set the tone for a workshop at the National Institute of Oceanography.

In his interview, Murthy said: "The southern part of Kerala was not much impacted by the Dec 26 tsunami mainly because the tsunamis that arrive from
the Indian Ocean have to diffract around Sri Lanka, which necessarily have to take a very wide turn and missed Kerala."

This is because tsunamis are long gravity waves and cannot bend as easily as short waves, just like a big car versus a mini. A mini can cut corners, but a big car has to take very wide turns.

"A re-orientation of the eastern entrance of the channel towards the northwest will fix the tsunami problem," he added.

The Tuticorin Port Trust, which is executing the channel project, does not think a realignment is necessary.

"(This) I absolutely disagree with. I have analysed the problem to my complete satisfaction," Murty maintained.

He cited the example of the Alberni canal on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

"The Sethusamudram canal has many characteristics similar to the Alberni canal, and this is the reason I am concerned.

"In the March 28, 1964, Alaska earthquake tsunami, outside of Alaska the largest tsunami amplitude was at the head of the Alberni canal well inland and not at the open coast as everyone expected. Later, I explained this was due to (a phenomenon known as) quarter wave resonance amplification," Murty explained.

Opponents describe the Rs.24 billion Sethusamudram project as an ecological disaster as it will upset the delicate balance in the Gulf of Mannar region.


--Indo-Asian News Service
_________________________________________________________________________________

ADVERSE EFFECT ON SRI LANKA


As far as the Lankans are concerned, the launch of the Sethusamudram Project has already triggered a second tsunami. Across the Palk Straits, political leaders raised the issue in Parliament; ecologists are crying out about the potential impact of the project on environment; and newspapers are running stories of how the project will affect the livelihood of fishermen. The Sunday Observer, on July 10, reported that fishermen from Pesalai and Talaimannar in Mannar district had complained to NorthEast Governor Tyronne Fernando that, "deepening of the Palk Straits under the Sethusamudram Canal project would destroy the breeding ground of fish in the sea territory close to Mannar shore." Environmentalists say that the project could destroy the coral reef in the area that is home to more than 700 fish varieties. The Palk Straits, Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar are known for their rich marine life. India, on July 14, termed the concern over possible environmental degradation as "baseless".

Mangala Samaraweera, Sri Lanka's Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister, tried to allay fears about the project. He said, "Our concerns on [the project's] possible impact to our economy, marine sources and the environment have been duly acknowledged by the Indian government." Samaraweera added that his government was having "sufficient and fruitful dialogue" with Indian officials over the implementation of the project.
But, Sri Lankans are not convinced. Environmental Foundation Ltd, a leading public interest organisation in Sri Lanka, had this to say about the project: "The effect on the environment on the project, during both the constructional and operational phases, will be immense. The Gulf of Mannar-Palk Bay area is a backwater, Adam's Bridge acting as a barrier to the flow of water through it. In these relatively warm waters a complex of ecosystems has grown, which could be severely affected by the Sethusamudram Project."

An EFL report concluded that the Sethusamudram Project was potentially damaging to the environment and could seriously affect Sri Lanka; it sought a proper study, including comprehensive modelling of potential water flows through the area, considering the Gulf of Mannar-Palk Strait as a part of the regional system as a whole; and demanded that all stakeholders, on both sides of the Palk Straits, be consulted in the course of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process.

The Sethusamudram Project, more than a century in the making, is about creating a ship channel across the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka. The dredged channel will allow ships to sail between India's east and west coasts through the channel rather than circumnavigate Sri Lanka. It will result in saving of up to 424 nautical miles (780 km) and up to 30 hours in sailing time. The project is expected to have a deep impact on Port of Colombo, the only transshipment hub in South Asia. Sri Lanka is aware that the Sethu project could wean away ships calling in the Port of Colombo and Galle harbour.

Last week, Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told Parliament, "If the Sethusamudram Project poses adverse effects to Sri Lanka, the government will take all necessary steps to safeguard the interests of our people and our country." Colombo is contemplating taking India to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Kadirgamar is also pressing for "joint monitoring and assessment of any adverse implication" of the project. Meanwhile, diplomatic negotiations continue between the two countries.



View of Lankans
[18 July 2005]

http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/29inter1.htm



The Rediff Interview/Dr Tad Murty

'Tsunami warning system in India by 2007'

September 29, 2005



Dr Tad S Murty is one of the world's most respected tsunami experts. Till recently, he advised the Canadian government on tsunamis and played an important role in the development of the 'Baird' simulation model of the December 26, 2004 tsunami.

He was on the editorial board of the prestigious tsunami journal, Science of Tsunami Hazards for many years and presently teaches at the University of Ottawa.

Dr Murty was in Chennai as a part of the Canadian delegation led by Dr Irwin Itzkovitch, assistant deputy minister, natural resources Canada, and the Canadian consulate to conduct a workshop on natural disaster mitigation and management.

He spoke exclusively to Contributing Editor Shobha Warrier on natural disasters and the Sethusamudram Canal Project.

You are part of the Canadian delegation on disaster management. What exactly is your role for the Canadian government?


In Canada, until recently I was a federal government scientist. After my retirement, I am teaching at the University of Ottawa.

I was involved with developing various numerical computer models for natural hazards such as cyclones, storms, tsunamis, coastal erosion, submarine landslide, etc. I am not involved in the socio-economic aspects of natural disasters as I do not have the expertise; my role is on developing the scientific techniques.

The tsunami tragedy: Full coverage

Since nobody can prevent natural disasters, as a scientist, are you involved in developing systems that warn people of disasters in advance?

Yes, you are right, we cannot prevent natural disasters but we can do two things; we can minimise the effects of disasters, and we can also considerably reduce loss of lives by predicting hazards like cyclones, storms, hurricanes, etc.

Also, we can mitigate to some degree the actual effects of the disaster but we can never prevent them.

When the tsunami struck southern Asia, nobody had predicted that something of this size was going to happen.


It is not quite correct to say that. There was no warning because we do not have a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean. My feeling is, had there been a warning system in place, at least 90 per cent of the loss of life could have been avoided.

So, it is not a question of failure of science. Last time a major tsunami struck was 60 years ago in November 1945 in the Arabian Sea. 60 years before that in August 1883, a tsunami happened in the Bay of Bengal.

Since it happens after a gap of 60 years, there was no memory of a tsunami; nobody felt the urgency or need to have a warning system in place.

Now, India is going ahead with a tsunami warning system, and I am happy to see the progress. We will have an operational system by September 2007.

It is estimated that when natural disasters strike, there is more loss of life and more loss of materials in the developing world. Is it because there are more people here? Or, is it because the developing world is not as prepared as the developed world?


Yes, that seems to be so, there are more people in the affected areas.

Similarly, there is a general feeling among the public that there is an increase in disasters. No, disasters are not particularly increasing. We always have had natural disasters. For example, 100 years ago, there was no reporting of such disasters. What has increased is the effect of such disasters. That is because of the increase in the population and coastal infrastructure.

Between the 19th and 20th century worldwide, the coastal infrastructure has increased by 13-and-half times! So, to put it in another way, in the 19th century, if there was one house in a place, there are 14 houses there now.

And, the population is four times more. So, with all that increase, the socio-economic effects of disasters are increasing. But the disasters themselves are not increasing. Their number remains about the same.

The developed world always used to ridicule the developing world on the way the latter handle disasters but was it not alarming the way the United States handled Hurricane Katrina?


When it comes to reaction to disasters, there is really no difference between the developing and the developed world. It's like this; you can never prepare enough for a disaster. We should be pragmatic. And, humans need time to react to a disaster; that doesn't change whether a country is rich or poor.

In the case of Hurricane Katrina, as a person who has been working on hurricanes, my interpretation is this: what happened in the US was that the enormity of the disaster caught everybody by surprise including the US government. I am not defending anybody.

The area that was hit by Hurricane Katrina is more than the size of Great Britain, more than the area of the entire state of Tamil Nadu, it's almost the size of Andhra Pradesh. 92,000 square miles of area was affected. It's like a war; you can't be there everywhere.

Look at Hurricane Rita. Of course, it was far less devastating. The authorities responded well.

The area is said to be hurricane prone, and hurricanes are lashing quite regularly. Why was it that Hurricane Katrina was so ferocious? Like some scientists said later, was global warming the reason behind the ferocity of this hurricane?

No. The hurricanes are not stronger now. Katrina is only category 4, and the biggest hurricane that hit the US happened in the early 1900s. It is a wrong perception.

Hurricanes are not getting bigger, and they are not happening more frequently. Only the effects are more, and that is because of the population increase, and the infrastructure increase. Reporting in the media is more extensive now.

Those levees on the coast were built earlier for much weaker hurricanes. In the 1980s, engineers wanted to raise the levees and prepare for category 5 hurricanes, and they got the money from the US government to do it. But the environmental groups went to court and stopped it. See, what happened now? Who is to be blamed? The environmentalists are the people who are responsible.

If you look at the Bay of Bengal, in the 20th century, there have been far fewer tropical cyclones than in the 19th century. I have studied this globally, I have looked at 200 years of records, and I have found that not a single record has been broken in the last 25 years. But people don't realise this

A lot of pseudo experts appear in the newspapers and make all kinds of ridiculous statements. Last time any record was broken was on October 12, 1979. Typhoon Tip (wind speeds reached 300 kmph) was the strongest typhoon in historical time.

The maximum number of hurricanes in the Atlantic were in 1969; there were 12 hurricanes. Now, you have two and you are saying all hell is breaking loose. During 1933, there were 21 tropical cyclones.

If global warming is responsible, the number of hurricanes should have increased but they have not. Intensity of hurricanes should have increased but it has not. But effects have increased.

See, you need a cure for the diseases you are suffering from. If you have diabetes, you need insulin, and not dialysis.

So, what should be done to reduce the effects? Is having a mangrove forest along the coast good?

We should plan coastal development so that we leave buffer zones. Yes, we need mangrove forests. Mangroves can mitigate 50 to 60 per cent of the impact and not 100 per cent.

Can anything mitigate the effects by 100 per cent?

No. Up to 90 to 95 per cent, you can mitigate the ill effects from tsunamis by creating sandbars in the ocean near the coast. These are very effective dissipaters of long gravity tsunami waves. Sandbars can dissipate up to 95 per cent of the energy. They are environmentally good.

What about building sea walls along the coast? The Tamil Nadu government had a plan to build sea walls along the entire coast.

No, I will not advocate sea walls for the entire coast. You can have sea walls where you cannot take a chance like nuclear power generator, harbours, etc though I do not personally like sea walls because they are ugly.

The coast of Tamil Nadu can be protected in more environmentally sound ways. What I suggest is, have sandbars and grow mangroves; also have buffer zones.

Let me ask you about the Sethu Samudram project. You said it would put the southern Kerala coast at risk.

Let me be clear. I am not against the Sethu Samudram project. I think it is a good project. I am not opposing it on environmental grounds as I have not studied that aspect. There may be ecological and social issues which I am not an expert to comment upon.

I feel that the Bay of Bengal entrance of the present orientation of the channel will undoubtedly funnel the tsunami energy, when a tsunami strikes, into the channel and this will divert the tsunami travelling from south of Sri Lanka to the southern part of Kerala.

The southern part of Kerala was not much impacted by the December 26, 2004 tsunami mainly because the tsunami that arrived from the Indian Ocean diffracted around Sri Lanka, took a very wide turn (because tsunamis are long gravity waves and cannot bend as easily as short waves, just like a big car versus a mini. A mini car cuts corners, but a big car has to take very wide turns.) and missed south Kerala.

So, what I suggest is a slight modification of 0.1 per cent. If there is a reorientation of the eastern entrance of the channel towards the northwest, it will fix the tsunami problem. Otherwise, there is a real threat to southern Kerala from future tsunamis.

I am 100 per cent certain about this.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: tad murty <tadmurty@gmail.com>
Date: Feb 21, 2007 12:56 AM
Subject: Re:
To: Kumar Chellappan <kumarchellappan@gmail.com>

Dear Mr. Chellappan, Thank you for your e-mail. I am answering your queries below. I will appreciate it very much if you can use my exact words(as quotations) so that I will not be mis-quoted. I will also appreciate it if you can e-mail me what you have written. Regards,Tad Murty


On 2/20/07, Kumar Chellappan < kumarchellappan@gmail.com> wrote:
Sir,

I am a journlist working with Deccan Chronicle in Chennai. Recently, a friend of mine sent me a copy of some suggestions by you on the Sethusamudram project. Since i am not a technical person, i could not follow it fully. Please be kind enough to explain it so that i can file it as a news report.

1.Do you feel the ecosystem in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal will be destroyed because of the Sethu project (especially in the Gulf of Mannar area?) ------I cannot answer this since I am not an ecologist.


2. Could you be specific about the south Kerala angle in the eventuality of another tsunami?------During the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26th December 2004, the very southern part of Kerala was generally spared from a major tsunami, mainly because the tsunami waves from Sumatra region travelling south of the Sri Lankan Island, partially diffracted northward and affected the central part of the Kerala coast.Since tsunami is a long gravity wave (similar to tides and storm surges) during the diffraction process, the rather wide turn it has to take spared south Kerala coast. On the otherhand, deepening the Sethu Canal might provide a more direct route for the tsunami and this could impact south Kerala.In late 2005 I had a face to face discussion in Chennai during a very cordial meeting with Shri Raghupathy(I do not know his exact title, but he is the head of the project, to the best of my knowledge) during which I raised this point. I requested him to consider slightly re-orienting the entrance of the Sethu canal on the Bay of Bengal side, so that in future tsunami events, tsunami energy will not be preferentially funnelled into the Sethu canal. Shri Raghupathy assured me that he will look into this matter. When a senior IAS officer like Shri Raghupathy says something, I beleive him and I have no further concerns on this matter.


3. Do you think the chances of another Tsunami have increased because of this canal?------no. The Sethu canal has nothing to do with the generation of tsunamis, tsunami generation depends upon tectonics.


And please tell me any other points which you feel important about the environmental aspect of the Canal?--- I am not an expert on environmental matters and hence cannot offer any opinion.


Change the route of SSCP – Save Ram Setu

Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh

Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, Yugabda 5108

Saraswati Kunj, Nirala Nagar, Laxmanpuri (Lucknow)

Chaitra Krishna 5-7 Yugabda 5108 (March 9-11, 2007)

______________________________________________________________________________

The ABPS strongly condemns the obstinate and reckless attitude of the Government of Bharat in going ahead with the controversial Setu Samudram Channel Project – SSCP – that proposes to destroy Ram Setu, the bridge constructed by Bhagvan Ram to cross the sea, thus unabashedly trampling upon the sentiments of crores of Hindus. The ABPS also wants to register strongest protest over the highly condemnable statement of the Union Minister for Shipping calling the opponents of the SSCP ‘anti-nationals’.

The ABPS wants to remind the Minister and other authorities that the entire project smacks of a sinister design to destroy Bharat’s age-old heritage and world’s most ancient man-made structure, much older than the Pyramids of Egypt (Around 4500 years) and the Great Wall of China (Around 2600 years). This can be deduced from the fact that while several alternative routes that do not destroy any monument were available before the authorities for the same purpose, they chose this very route that is longer than the others and cuts across the Ram Setu. They not only brushed aside the objections raised by the environmentalists and the livelihood concerns of thousands of fishermen in that area but also refused to consult the experts from the most important wing of Marine Archaeology.

The Government has turned a deaf ear to the warnings of environmentalists, seismologists, geo-morphologists etc over the impending danger to our coastline from future calamities like Tsunami due to the destruction of this barrier.

The ABPS wishes to remind all, that structures like Taj Mahal in Agra and Kutub Minar in Delhi were saved from the threat of damage and destruction from the modern development oriented initiatives like industrialisation and Metro Rail project respectively, due to public and judicial intervention. While the above two date back only to a few hundred years the Ram Setu’s historical antiquity goes back to several millennia.

The ABPS welcomes the initiative taken by bodies like Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha in mobilising public opinion by way of involving the saints and filing cases in the courts. It also places its appreciation on record for all those political parties, social organisations and media agencies who have taken up the cause of supporting this initiative of preserving Bharat’s cherished national heritage and honour. It also congratulates lakhs of people who have signed a petition urging the President of Bharat to intervene and save this monument.

That the Setu existed there for several millennia; that it is still mentioned in various records as the Adam’s Bridge; that the British Gazette records mention that people used to cross the sea over that Setu till 15th Century; that the Archaelogical Survey of India has ‘Aasetu Himachalam’ as its motto embedded in its emblem referring to the same Setu; and that even NASA satellite images have clearly shown that there exists an organised chain of sand shoals 30 KM long; that the bridge's unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man made; over and above all this, that there exists a strong local tradition irrespective of religion that attaches great sacredness to this Setu should be enough for the protests against the SSCP to be taken by the Government seriously. This monument deserves not destruction in this callous manner but protection as a Heritage Site under UNESCO mandate.

The ABPS demands that the Government deliver its obligation under Art '51-A' of the Indian Constitution by declaring it as a protected monument and handing it over to the Archaeology department for further investigations.

The Pratinidhi Sabha calls it ironical that the Government of Bharat wants to destroy this great monument using its very name for the project “Setu Samudram Channel Project’.

The ABPS calls upon the countrymen to immediately launch a nationwide campaign to force the Government to abandon its callous course.

The ABPS warns the Government that resumption of the project in the present form is fraught with serious consequences and advises that it should form an experts committee consisting of marine archaeologists, seismologists, environmentalists etc as advised by the Ramnathpuram Court and explore the alternative routes that do not damage the sacred Ram Setu and yet fulfil the objectives of this commercially very important project.

http://www.rss.org/New_RSS/News/NewsDetail.jsp





Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

[quote=kalyan97,Mar 11 2007, 01:00 AM]
I suggest n write his concerns to tad s murthy (his email address given below) and let me know what he says and what would be his choice among the 5 alignments considered so far and how each of the 5 alignments would cope with the next tsunami (which incidentally is not like a meteor and repetitively occurs which necessitated, Japan, for e.g. to build protection walls in specific coastal zones; maybe it is a good idea to reevaluate all the 5 alignments and to re-design the chosen alignment to cope with the next tsunami).

See the map of five alignments in the following URL:

http://sarasvati95.googlepages.com/realignsethu.doc

I would request members to give their views on the preferred alignment.

Remember many Bauddha followers travel thousands of miles just to touch the land the Buddha walked and just remember that his relics lie inside the stupas. A place becomes sacred when a vigrahavaan dharmah like Rama walks. Sure, destroy the Bamiyan Buddha. It has to be rebuilt to respect the traditions people cherish. Life is not merely a few dollars, nor a super sea-faring link. There may be a number of options. People called Sarasvati a myth; she has been proven to be ground-truth. People call Ramsethu a myth; who knows, as inquiries proceed, this may also prove to be ground-truth (in this case, sea-truth).

Just think why Brits did NOT build this channel. They found it economical to loot the mineral wealth from Bengal-Bihar jharia fields by a rail link instead of circumnavigating using Calcutta port. Same for reaching oil, say from Mumbai to Chennai. It may be cost-effective to have a pipeline from Mumbai to Chennai rather than use tankers and then tranship into smaller vessels which have to be designed to cope with the SethuMAX (that is the max. draft of only 10 m allowed). <!--emo&:tv--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tv_feliz.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tv_feliz.gif' /><!--endemo--> I hope members know there is a SuezMAX and a PanamaMAX for vessel sizes.

k


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

[quote=narayanan,Mar 10 2007, 09:20 PM] My concern about the opposition to the project is precisely that the points made in the oppostion petitions etc. do not make sense, but are ascribed to people with credentials that should be impressive. So I do expect to see explanations whose lucidity makes it clear why these people have impressive credentials. So far that is not happening. Otherwise it tends to validate that recent book by a couple of ppl who claim that India is basically a society where "Social Position" is all that matters, not common sense.

This is an irresponsible, sweeping comment. Uncalled for. Any commentator will do well to first read the superb piece of work done during the feasibility studies and detailed environmental impact evaluation etc. all available at http://sethusamudram.gov.in Indian scientists involved in this work are not dumbo-s.

The problem with the project is that all these evaluations are pre-tsunami. Politico-s intervened and prevented a complete re-evaluation of the earlier studies based on the knowledge gained from the devastation called tsunami which was a new experience for at least four or five generations. If all the five alignments considered over various points in time had been re-considered afresh, a sensible solution would have been found. Some supremo's were in a hurry to pocket 60% of the 2k crore project money. That is the going rate for commissions. And, of course that 60% of 1k crore gets raked in every year to keep dredging till waves cease to break the kerala back-waters.

When reason fails in a political system and when the bureaucracy plays chamcha to the political master, all logic fails and all reason collapses. Stop the project as presently aligned, save ramsethu and still achieve whatever one wants to achieve with kerala-tamilnadu naval integration. Surely, oil will not move through this channel. Pipelines are a lot more reliable and cheaper criss-crossing the entire nation in a grid already. Sure, Kerala prawns can be tried out on Tamilnadu restaurants. Carry on them kattamaraans across the Sethusamudram Channel; sure make money, who prevents?

k


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - narayanan - 03-11-2007

Ah! Speaking of "sweeping irresponsible statements", would you happen to have some evidence for
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Some supremo's were in a hurry to pocket 60% of the 2k crore project money. That is the going rate for commissions. And, of course that 60% of 1k crore gets raked in every year to keep dredging till waves cease to break the kerala back-waters.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The same Prof. Tad Murthy states that he conveyed his concerns to the Project Director, an IAS officer, who promised to consider them carefully.

While preparing for a tsunami of course makes sense, and it is possible that the precise location of the origin of the tsunami can be predicted with accuracy by some people (usually after the fact, but let that pass...), it is also necessary to consider all the other issues that determine the optimal choice for alignment of the canal. A poll among 5 or 6 readers I am sure is one way to determine this, but not if you want to get a defensible answer. It is quite interesting to see the suggested mode of operation of the proposed Chair of the Committee to decide this.

The interested reader is referred to the very calm and careful statements of Prof. Murthy, with the hype of the RSS declaration (which is understandable, the RSS is into politics, not science), and the Petition advanced by Dr. Kalyanaraman. To me it appears that the Petition is "aligned", no pun intended, very precisely along what the RSS wants to be heard, rather than what Prof. Murthy or others have thoughtfully stated.

Once again, I will emphasize that I am NOT agreeing that Prof. Murthy has thought carefully and done calculations about the quantitative effect of the deepening of this channel, on the potential tsunami over the Kerala coastline.

Is there some calculation that precisely predicts the AMPLITUDE of the next tsunami? Perhaps the next quake there is another 100 times bigger than the Dec. 2004 one, wiping out the entire East coast infrastructure. Help from the West coast will have to go around the turbulent seas around SL, at a time when aftershocks are still expected, because we did not build the SSC project, listening to Prof. Murthy and his concerns as distorted and amplified by the politicians.

How many children will die waiting for help to arrive?? Could someone ask Prof. Murthy to weigh this in his calculations? The Project Director certainly has to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages.

How many died needlessly after the cyclone of December 1965 (it hit precisely in this area and transformed the topography, doing far worse damage to Shri Ram's route than the SSC will ever do. It cut Dhanushkodi off from Rameshwaram.

Help from the WEst coast could have arrived swiftly, had the SSC been there. But thousands died of hunger and thirst, blinded by the 120mph sand blast.

How many died needlessly in Nov/Dec. 1975 when the cyclone hit south of Chennai (I did, at least in the Differential Equations and Design of Machine Elements Final Exams which did not get postponed as I had fully and confidently assumed, based on the stupid weather predictions..)

The southern East coast was smashed, trains were stopped by the flooding - but help could not arrive from the west coast because the SSC was not there.

So much for the "Saving Lives" claims of the Opposition.

****************************************************************

Does Prof. Murthy's calculation take into account the fact that the channel is crooked, and will reflect and damp out most sudden impulses? Does he include this in his calculation of Quarter Wave Resonance (the idea that a fluid in a STRAIGHT tube will develop large oscillations if a disturbance is applied)?? He cites a channel in Alaska - is this channel straight or crooked?

If the crookedness of the channel is irrelevant, then so is the complaint that the channel itself will not survive a tsunami, but die protecting the coast by absorbing the energy. The Opposition needs to decide which crooked line to take here.

Now let's look at Prof. Murthy's advice: it is simply to direct the northern opening of the deep-sea channel to the east (towards the coast) rather than to the north-west (the direction of most of the traffic).

What would be the effect in a tsunami? He argues, and I do not question it, that the opening will be protected from that first lash of the wave front. Wonderful.

But go back and read the accounts of the tsunami. MOST PEOPLE DROWNED BECAUSE THEY WERE PULLED BACK INTO THE SEA, MILES OUT.

In other words, the backwash carried megatons of debris, people, everything, into the sea for miles out. The opening of the canal facing the coast, would be completely choked with debris, and the canal would be out of commission exactly when it is most needed - for rescue and resupply to come in!!!!

This is the danger in taking a pet theory and tom-tomming it to the press. The solution suggested is quite wrong. No wonder the IAS officer, after taking advice from all quarters, looks like he decided not to follow it.

Dr. K claims above that the SSC plans were made before the tsunami. Accurate. They've been around MUCH longer than the plans for the Narmada project. The planning must have reached a critical stage BETWEEN 1998 and 2004 for it to have got to the present cash-distribution stage. In other words, THIS WAS FINE AS PLANNED WHEN THE BJP WAS IN POWER, but it became a "Hindu-dissing, irresponsible, corrupt, scientifically unsound" project now. JUST LIKE THE NUCLEAR PACT - the Overseas Friends of the BJP circulated a "Scientific White Paper" developed by a "Dr. Dinesh Agarwal" or something at Pennsylvania State University (Ooo!! I feel faint from admiration at the sheer Credenshuls!) claiming that INDIA HAS ALL THE ELECTRIC POWER IT NEEDS, no need for nuclear power!!! Fortunately, most Indians, like in the Capital City of Dilli, could not read this, because the power cut precluded browsing the 'net. Such is the intellectual ethics of political entities. I am DEEEPLY sorry to see the Saraswati Foundation's name being used to sell the present "Tsunami Theory". A real shame.

*******************************************************

Now for those NASA images that are cited as "proof" of a man-made land bridge, 200,000,000,000,000 years ago. Well, let me just say that I have seen them. How much of the "land bridge" is cloud, and how much real? Where again is the evidence that it is ALL man-made? It is quite possible that some part of it may have been, but that part is probably nowhere near where the SSC deep channel is proposed. Simple reasoning: the man-made part would have been made with boulders, less susceptible to being washed away, and in fact more susceptible to having more sand accumulate. The natural parts would have been eroded and gone under the sea.

This again is part of the problem. The Opposition is destroying their own credibility (even among those who ascribed credibility to them) by taking refuge behind these sorts of easily-destroyable claims, putting their trust in the shifting sands of a "NASA image" or stuff like that.

Consider this: If it is visible on NASA images, the Ramar Bridge is also visible on images from Indian Remote Sensing satellites, and probably from high-altitude aircraft, and from low-altitude surrveys and sonobuoy surveys. How come the RSS and its excellent Scientists haven't bothered to take a boat with a depth sounder, and mapped out this region so far, and presented that data?
After all, there are all these thousands of angry fishermen out there, hey? We're talking about places 10 miles offshore, after all? And these such Holy, Sacred Places too??

Why base the entire Opposition to this project on some casual statements made by a Canadian Govt. official (Dr. Ted) and a Christian Evangelist Conspiracy (NASA)? Could it be because they are easy to condemn later?

By the way, the dedication to the Cause of Protecting Hindu Heritage is indeed touching. How much has been done to excavate and protect the buried temples that were reported to have shown up in the backwash of the Tsunami, off the coast of Mahabalipuram? Waiting for some project to put rice in the mouths of the desperately poor people of that region, before starting another round of Petitions and jumping up and down like Energizer Bunnines, I presume????


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

[quote=narayanan,Mar 11 2007, 04:55 AM] Does Prof. Murthy's calculation take into account the fact that the channel is crooked, and will reflect and damp out most sudden impulses? Does he include this in his calculation of Quarter Wave Resonance (the idea that a fluid in a STRAIGHT tube will develop large oscillations if a disturbance is applied)?? He cites a channel in Alaska - is this channel straight or crooked?

Cutting out the polemics, let the scientists agree on what the tsunami DID.

It is a pity that the commentator refuses to: 1. see the tsunami simulations (or ask for references to educate himself) and 2. see the 'scientists' comments on the probabilities of recurrence of tsunami.

Everyone can write English. What is needed is STRAIGHT thinking through tube or otherwise based on an agreement among scientists of different disciplines.

If a Public Adm. arbiter is unacceptable, choose someone from Harvard u. No problem. But, get the science issues clarified first. A lot has already been done and it is unfortunate that this dialogue will go nowhere if the references are not studied first.

As in a koottaattam one can go round and round bringing in irrelevancies and muddle the issue.

Has the commentator also seen the 1747, 1788 and 1804 map ALL of which refer to this reef as BRIDGE linking Ramancoil I. and Talaimannar? I suppose it does not matter to scientific pundits if some manual intervention might also have added to the links of some limestone hills and shoals? Call is Narayana sethu; I have no problem with names.

Delhi door aaast from america. Corruption percentages are easy to compute. just ask Vittal ex-chief vigilance commissioner or Kuppuraj heading an anti-corruption ngo (a retd. chief engineer, PWD).

While evaluating 5 alernative alignments which have surfaced so far, it is not necessary to involve Agarwals or whoever. Invite him to the forum discussions, they are getting very learned.

k


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - narayanan - 03-11-2007

As I feared. There is not a single answer that the author can give to any of the points.

The Law of Conservation of Mass is not different in Kerala or Tamil Nadu. Water is very nearly constant in density, so that Cross Section Area x speed has to be constant for the same mass of water.

If X additional mass of water comes through a channel because it is now deeper, then that is all the additional mass of water available to distribute across the coastline to cause an added increase in water level, with a certain speed of movement. Very simple calculation, doesn't matter if it is done on the back of an envelope or on a supercomputer. Answer is the same. There is NO way that the proposed depth increase of the 300m channel can have any measurable effect on any tsunami hundreds of kilometers away.

The Quarter-Wave Resonance sounds very impressive as a Scientific Explanation, but it is exactly like I wrote. Also, it is very doubtful whether Prof. Tad's group has done computational simulations with enough resolution and fidelity to include the bends in the proposed canal. Yes, I have viewed the simulations, thank you, and I am aware of the limitations of what can be simulated today.

Also, see carefully what Professor Tad said: he said that in the case of the Alaska channel with a tsunami input, the largest amplitude was AT THE MOUTH of the channel. This is exactly what happens with wave motion in an open tube. The pressure changes are released at the open boundary, where the boundary condition is that the boundary cannot support a pressure discontinuity (or a discontinuity in potential energy). This causes a large velocity amplitude, same as what happens when you take a tube and blow across one end of it while holding the other end closed. Nothing new there.

Except that the mouth of the SSC is nowhere near Kerala. It is somewhere in the vicinity of Talaimannar, a bit southwest of there, perhaps, but NOWHERE near Kerala or Toothukkudi (Tuticorin to the Angrez and the Brown Sahibs), or KanyaKumari (Cape Comorin to the same). So Prof. Tad shoots his own claims down right there.

Now for the "Ramar Bridge" "NASA Photos". Like I said, that sounds good except to those who have carefully viewed those photos hoping to find some grounds to say that they are real proof of what our Epics taught us, but also trying to stay honest like our Epics taught us. The only honest explanation is what I posted - there MAY have been a human-aided part to that sandbank, but certainly not 30KM long. And the human-aided part was NOT what got eroded.

Get some Indian Remote Sensing photos and see if the Ramar Bridge appears still - or whether it only appears when NASA looked at it. What has happened to the sandbanks since the Tsunami? This alone would be a very useful revelation, relevant to the issues. Why have people not bothered to dig this out, before advancing all these theories and computer simulations?

It would also help to actually go and look down into the sea at Rameswaram, Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar to get some sense of perspective on these things. And get a sense of scale before supporting notions like those pushed in the Petition. Stand at the water's edge and look out to the horizon. And realize that that's only 4 miles away, and the other side is 25 miles away. The Palk Strait is not the Suez or Panama Canal - it is BIG. It is NOT like that "photo" that is available at major temples, showing Shri Rama and the Vanara Sena in Egyptian depthless depiction, where you can see Sita sitting over there, across a ditch narrower than the Buckingham Canal in Mylapore.

Sorry, Kalyanji, you have backed yourself into an indefensible corner, and have run out of intelligent answers, as I did warn would happen.

The smart thing for the RSS etc. to do (Yes, I know, that would be unusual) would be to withdraw that Petition, or back off from the childish nonsense and reword it to reflect some real concerns. Support the project, but ask for a major renovation of the Rameswaram temple and facilities, along with using the dredged soil and rocks to build a permanent, sustainable island out near the channel, to which people can go in boats and worship.


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

[quote=narayanan,Mar 10 2007, 08:56 PM] [quote]1.      Effect of a tsunami-type of event on the project (all scientists are unanimous that a recurrence of tsunamis cannot be ruled out).[/quote]True. Neither can the effect of an asteroid landing 10 km off Kanyakumari, which will probably cause an appreciation in beach-front property values in Coimbatore.

This is vitandaavaadam. Tsunami ain't no asteroid. While forecasting timing of a tsunami may not be possible, the pundis in that discipline seem to agree about the repeated occurrences of tsunami and tsunami-prone regions. Any grandmother will be prudent to be alert and be ready with rational reactions on a tsunami day. Not unlike earthquake precautions in place, say, in San Francisco or tsunami precautions (and protection structures) in place, say, in Japan. There is nothing wrong in learning from others; be prepared, than be sorry (after the event).

Methinks the Ramanathapuram judge made a sage comment about experts getting together without indulging in mud-slinging. The case ain't over yet; it ain't over until the fat lady sings.

Once can see hindu everywhere. How about reading the following recent, three-part essay on the saga of SSCP (Sethusamudram Channel Project) which recounts the issues?
http://newstodaynet.com/2007sud/mar07/060307.htm
http://newstodaynet.com/2007sud/mar07/070307.htm
http://newstodaynet.com/2007sud/mar07/080307.htm These are by someone who knows something, he was an ex-chairman of Tuticorin Port Trust. Don't go off on a tangent discussing persons. The issues flagged matter and should be deliberated upon.

I am in complete agreement with the steps suggested in these reports for re-evaluation of SSCP. I would add that a CBI inquiry is called for on the background of the hurried announcement on 2 July 2005 (within two days’ after Tuticorin Port Trust puts together a response to PMO queries, all 16 of them). One is amazed at the speed with which PMO is able to evaluate the responses without ever referring to any scientists. After all, some scientists are such a bore and can never agree among themselves. So leave it to Antonia to decide on the fate of coastline of India and people who happen to live there… Due process? Who cares? Decision is everything in public policy. How come the official website is silent about public grievances and fears concerning another tsunami? Oh, these scientists; they just scare; after all, they are pundits whose profession is to scare, seeing CIA and sea-pirates everywhere.

Use these and the following note on Tad Murthy’s competence, to frame a list of questions to be posed to Murthy and to Raghupathy. Make it like a CBI inquiry on one question: what competence did the Tuticorin Port Trust have to respond to PM’s 16 queries without even referring the serious queries for response by NEERI and other scientist agencies involved in pre-tsuami evaluations.

Tad Murthy may be asked to confirm. My understanding of his views is this: shift the channel to the north-east side and align the mouth of the channel (on Bay of Bengal side) to the north-west. The best way to judge this is to re-run the computer simulations of probable future tsunami scenarios with alternative alignments. Build structures like walls to protect the coastline peoples’ lives future tsunami’s occur.
http://drs.nio.org/drs/bitstream/2264/422/...India_50_25.pdf

I will certainly sit up and respectfully listen to someone who has studied oceans all his or her life.

Aha, it is quarter wave resonance amplification. It is as simple as that. I wonder why commentators continue to pontificate and question Tad Murthy’s incompetence and indulge in personal attacks on alleged motives. Can’t the issue be dealt with as a scientific issue related to wave resonance? What does a flyer know about oceanic wave resonance? I have to trust somebody, I will trust Tad Murthy on this issue of waves. He has been editing a journal on the subject for over 20 years; he should know some and be able to answer his detractors himself without intermediation by self-proclaimed knowledge guru’s and development administrators (even PhDs writing books on Public Admin. In Asia in two volumes).
I happen to feel proud about a bharatiya getting recognized as a tsunami expert. S’ubha kaamanaayen, Murthy ji.

"In the March 28, 1964, Alaska earthquake tsunami, outside of Alaska the largest tsunami amplitude was at the head of the Alberni canal well inland and not at the open coast as everyone expected. Later, I explained this was due to (a phenomenon known as) quarter wave resonance amplification," Murty explained.
http://www.elaw.in/issue/sethu.htm

July 18, 2005
Shortening of route may lead to increasing problems
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:-The Sethusamudra project may have got government approval but a number of organizations are unhappy about its adverse effect on the ecology of the region.
The Project will shorten the shipping route from India’s west coast through Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar to the east coast without touching Sri Lanka. The project’ s aim was to shorten the 722 nautical mile journey from the southern most tip of India to the eastern side to one of 402 nautical miles. Thirty six hours of journey and a great quantity of fuel would be saved by this project. Plus India will no longer have to pay the additional charges that Indian ships give to Sri Lanka .
“ If the Sethusamudram project is implemented with the present masterplan as approved by the Government of India’s shipping ministry, in case of another tsunami, especially in the Bay of Bengal, the high tidal effect will almost swallow southern Kerala ,“warns Dr Tad Murthi. Dr Tad Murthy is a tsunami expert and oceanography researcher based in Canada and ex editor of the ”Science of Tsunami Hazards” . According to him if the projected is not shifted a little to the north-eastern side than any sea upsurge of the scale of a tsunami will destroy southern Kerala from the Dhanushkodi coast to Ernakulam coast.
The Sethusamudram Project will give easy accessibility to the ships from India’s southern end to the Bay of Bengal through a shipping canal starting from Thuthukkudi in Tamil Nadu.
At Adam ’s Bridge and Palk-Strait, the sea will be dredged to a depth of nearly 12 metres . The width of the canal will be 300 meters and length 152.2 kilometers. The canal is separated into three sections. The southern section that comprises of Adam’s Bridge will be 20 kms long , the Palk Strait section will be 54.2 kms long and the middle section will be of 78 kms length.
The proposal for the Sethusamudram project were made way back in 1860. Since then a number of feasibility studies have been undertaken by the government which finally culminated in 1994 with the appointment of the Pallavan Transport Consultancy Services to study the project and give cost estimates which they pegged at Rs 760 crore. In 1999 the government declared that the work on the project would start soon and set aside a budget to study the ecological and environmental impacts of the project.
Thuthukkudy in Tamil Nadu will become a Transhipment Hub like Singapore and Colombo. Thirteen other ports in Tamil Nadu will be upgraded. Total estimate- Rs 1,200 crore.
The feasibility studies on the project are totally silent on the problems faced by the south eastern coasts regularly namely — (i) frequent accumulation of sand (ii)cyclones (iii)dredging sludge. The Sethusamudram Project will in no way be exempt from these problems.
The Palk Strait suffers from accumulation of sand. Due to this the depth of the Ocean in this region is lessening by one centimeter annually. Sands from the rivers of both India and Sri Lanka are depositing here. Also the under-currents from the Bay of Bengal and the southern flow of the Gulf of Mannar bring in large quantity of sand here.
The National Environmental Engineering organization had conducted a study on the accumulation of sand at Adam’s Bridge due to tidal fluctuations . They did not take into account the river sands, 99 per cent of sand accumulation is really from the rivers, it is reported, so the study is incomplete.
Scientists expect a land rout due to sand accumulation at Vedarannyam in between Palk Strait and Jaffna in the near future.
The Sethusamudram project area is also reported to be a cyclone-prone region. There were about 66 cyclones reported at the Tamil Nadu coast. Thirty six of them caused very heavy damages with speeds of nearly 90 kms pre hour. And 26 of these were within the Sethusamudram project area. Dredging will lead to the disappearance of nearly 85 small islands in Sri Lanka.
The reports of the International Oceanic-excavation of 1974 and the geo-scientist reports of 1994 point out that in the Gulf of Mannar, magnetic and gravitational forces are very high.
The region is a “biosphere-reservoir” teeming with bio diversity. It is famous for its pearls and gastropod-shells. It has 17 different types of mangroves. There are over 36,000 species of organisms in this region. There are over 117 types of coral reefs. Tortoise, dolphins, sea-cows, sharks, sea-horses and whales are commonly found here The project will not only destroy the bio-diversity but also affect the livelihood and socio-culture life of the region.
“It is unscientific to have a project like this, without considering the above mentioned issues clamour the scientists.” (Indiadisasters, July 18, 2005)
http://www.tsunamiresponsewatch.org/trw/20...asing-problems/

Tad in this case is not to be mischievously mis-spelt Dr. Ted, but Tadepalli as in Tadepalli Satyanarayanamurthy.

http://www.umassd.edu/indic/newsletter/indicnewsfall2005.pdf
http://www.nio.org/jsp/science_plan.jsp

Tsunami warning system a long process: expert
By Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI, JAN. 21. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands might have moved by about 1.25 metres towards the south-east and twisted anti-clockwise by several degrees because of the impact of the colossal earthquake and the tsunami in its wake that battered the region and South India on December 26.
Disclosing this, the Surveyor-General of India, P. Nag, said measurements have also shown that while several parts of the region have been uplifted, several others have been sunk. The Survey of India (SOI) has 12 control points in the region to determine its topography, all of which appear to have been disturbed due to the disaster's impact.
Need for remapping
Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a Government-organised meeting of experts that looked at the various aspects of putting together a tsunami early warning system, Mr. Nag said there seemed to be a need for remapping the entire region afresh to get a clear picture of its topographical changes .
The Secretary, Department of Ocean Development, Harsh K. Gupta, said the proposed tsunami warning system would also help strengthen the forecast for cyclonic storm surges , and would involve the establishment of a comprehensive ocean observation network comprising sea bottom pressure recorders. It would also be used to develop inundation vulnerability maps for coastal areas.
Tad Murthy, president of the Tsunami Society, Canada, and one of the leading architects of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, said even while there was an urgent need for setting up a tsunami warning system for India and other countries in the Indian Ocean region, it must be realised that it could not be done overnight.
Preliminary work
A lot of preliminary work had to be done before a warning system could be made operational. Hundreds of computer-aided models needed to be developed to take care of different scenarios and kept in readiness so that response to a potentially dangerous earthquake could be fast. For example, on a map, the coastline of Tamil Nadu may seem like a single continuous line, but on the ground there were several gaps in the form of estuaries and other geographical features. All these could influence the impact of a tsunami.
Prof. Murthy said no single country could have a tsunami warming system of its own, since sea bottom pressure recorders and other equipment would have to be deployed in different places in the seas surrounding it for the warning to be timely and correct. In this regard, he suggested the formation of a common system for all countries in the Indian Ocean region under the United Nations. Prof. Murthy rejected the suggestion of India's becoming a part of the Pacific system on the ground that Pacific and Indian Ocean were different basins and since the Pacific system had been designed for detecting tsunamis occurring in that basin, it would not be useful for India.
Inaugurating the meeting, the Union Science and Technology Minister, Kapil Sibal, asked the scientists to explore the possibility of using satellites for the regular monitoring of geological faultlines that could cause massive earthquakes and tsunamis. Apart from creating mechanisms for early warning, there was also a need to streamline the systems for providing disaster relief, he said.
http://www.hindu.com/2005/01/22/stories/2005012205461100.htm
Dr. Tad Murthy, President of Tsunami Society, Canada who also addressed the gathering, emphasized the need for geospatial map data infrastructure and said that sharing of data is essential to tackle disaster and post disaster management.

Map India – 2005 is the 8th Annual International Conference in the field of GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing, and Aerial Photography etc. with a mission to bring all stakeholders on the geospatial platform.
http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=6954
http://beta-blogger.blogspot.com/2004_12_01_archive.html

Telugu Tad Murty Wins Indo Canada Award
Excerpted from the Toronto Star, June 11 2005

Telugu scientist Tad Murty, originally hailing from Andhra Pradesh, is among ten "superachievers" of Indian origin to be honoured by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce at a special gala in Toronto.
Tsunami expert Tad Murty — who has fielded more than 400 media interview requests from around the globe since the Dec. 26 Indian Ocean catastrophe — will drive from his home in Ottawa to pick up his award.
It was India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who inspired Murty's choice of career. Murty was a boy of 14 when Nehru visited his village in Andhra Pradesh in India, shortly after a cyclone hit Orissa. In a speech, Nehru challenged India's scientists to tackle real-life problems such as natural disasters rather than just write equations only they could decipher.
"It's the first time in my life that I heard the term `natural hazard.' It sort of stuck in my mind," says Murty, 67. He went on to do his PhD in oceanography and meteorology at the University of Chicago and worked for the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans for 27 years. He was Canada's representative in the design of the International Tsunami Monitoring System. That led to the creation of a computer modelling system now in place in 185 British Columbia communities, which warns of potential tsunamis.
"I brought science into it so we know much more about the amplitude of the tsunami, how many waves there will be, what the height will be, when it will be safe to return to the shore," as well as data on ocean currents, which are responsible for much of the damage and loss of life as tsunami waves retreat.
Murty's expertise has taken him around the world. After Dec. 26, he was part of the Canadian delegation to India and Thailand to help develop a new warning system in the Indian Ocean. Most recently, he was involved in developing tsunami warning systems for the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. Retired from the federal government, he now teaches at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. In December, when he accepts an award in India for his work, "life will have come full circle, in a sense, because that's where my interest was sparked."
http://www.tlca.com/adults/tadmurthy.html
http://sethusamudram.gov.in/TedArticle.asp
http://www.springerlink.com/index/P568168217325061.pdf
http://www.recoverlanka.net/docs/sethutsunamirev6.pdf

About tsunami which hit and impending tsunami-s:

The last Tsunami in the Arabian Sea occurred in 1945 and the next one is likely to hit the shore before the end of this year.
Tad Murthy said that the first-known major Tsunami occurred in the Bay of Bengal in August 1883 followed by another in November 1945 in the Arabian Sea. The third Tsunami occurred in the Bay of Bengal in December 2004 and the next one is likely to occur in the Arabian Sea.
After an earthquake in the Gulf region on August 26 this year, waves rose five metres consistently for a distance of six kilometers in the Gujarat coastline. So, if a Tsunami occurs, then Mumbai and Gujarat could be the targets, particularly Kandla, Mandvi and Bhavnagar port towns.
Though Mumbai is about two metres above sea level, its low-lying areas may be inundated in case of Tsunami striking the metropolis. While buildings are likely to be spared, the slum areas will be the worst-hit. Mumbai could also be hit if a Tsunami were to strike Karachi coast in Pakistan.
Incidentally, India and Australia are the only two countries out of the 37 countries hit by the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean last year, which are setting up the Tsunami warning system on a war-footing. The earthquake and Tsunami in December 2004 had killed over 200,000 people in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and other countries in the region.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_150...01301540000.htm


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-narayanan+Mar 10 2007, 07:25 PM-->QUOTE(narayanan @ Mar 10 2007, 07:25 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->How many children will die waiting for help to arrive??  Could someone ask Prof. Murthy to weigh this in his calculations?

Help from the WEst coast could have arrived swiftly, had the SSC been there. But thousands died of hunger and thirst, blinded by the 120mph sand blast.

How many died needlessly in Nov/Dec. 1975 when the cyclone hit south of Chennai.  The southern East coast was smashed, trains were stopped by the flooding - but help could not arrive from the west coast because the SSC was not there.
[right][snapback]65455[/snapback][/right]
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You make it sound as if the absence of the proposed canal is the primary bottleneck in relief work or emergency response on East. However, tsunami relief response experience tells the completely contrasting tale.

1. For immediate-term response (medicine, food, water, evacuation), airborne logistics is the most effective and versatile method in contemporary times, to any emergency including Tsunami or cyclone.

2. Since east coast is not an island, supplies for medium term-emergency response (rehabilitation etc) arrives not *only* from west, but also from north and center. Relief logistics does *NOT* depend upon 'setusagar canal' to reach east cost.

3. Extensive railways-based shipping network of India can not be ruled out for medium term response logistics. Even if we assume that the coastal railway tracks are completely destroyed in an extreme event, there are still enough road networks, and build more roadways in any case.

4. Naval-borne logistics is required for shipping supplies to islands. None of the islands of India require ships to cross setusagar canal. Navy did ferry the relief supplies to Lanka, Indonasia, Maldives etc. Below is an old report which descrbes relief logistics.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Navy were quick to respond as soon as the magnitude of the crisis became apparent. Aircraft such as Il-76s and AN-32s were requisitioned immediately to transport desperately needed supplies to the affected areas.

The public sector airline companies, Indian Airlines and Alliance Air, also contributed in their own way, cancelling many of their commercial flights and using their fleet to ferry relief materials and to help stranded passengers and injured tsunami victims in the Andaman and Nicobar islands reach the mainland.

Air Force helicopters, especially the Mi-8s and the Mi-17s, proved invaluable in dropping supplies to remote areas and rescuing marooned people. In some areas, the IAF used drones to assess damage and loss of life. Four aircraft delivered six tonnes of relief material to the Maldives. Two ships were sent with potable water to the islands. The Navy has set up a Maritime Coordination Centre for the government of the Maldives in the capital Male.

India lent a helping hand to the Indonesian government as it struggled to handle the gargantuan tragedy Although the Andaman and Nicobar islands, which also suffered badly, needed help, a Navy hospital ship was despatched to Banda Aceh and a relief team to Meulaboh, the town worst affected by the tsunami. Another naval ship was sent from Chennai with relief materials comprising tents, blankets, emergency rations and medical supplies.
http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2202/sto...28004813300.htm
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Indian Naval vessels did carry relief material, in aid to islands like Sri Lanka:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Indian ship 'Samar' arrives with 120 tonnes of tsunami relief in Sri Lanka
http://www.lakehouse.lk/tsunami/story/relief-aid-28.htm
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


<!--QuoteBegin-narayanan+Mar 10 2007, 07:25 PM-->QUOTE(narayanan @ Mar 10 2007, 07:25 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->after the cyclone of December 1965 (it hit precisely in this area and transformed the topography, doing far worse damage to Shri Ram's route than the SSC will ever do. It cut Dhanushkodi off from Rameshwaram.
[right][snapback]65455[/snapback][/right]
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Very interesting. Do you have any back-up to this information regarding damage to Ramar Setu in 1965 - e.g links to articles or reports?


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

As for this portion of post 11:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The planning must have reached a critical stage BETWEEN 1998 and 2004 for it to have got to the present cash-distribution stage. In other words, THIS WAS FINE AS PLANNED WHEN THE BJP WAS IN POWER, but it became a "Hindu-dissing, irresponsible, corrupt, scientifically unsound" project now.
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Looks like you have not read the project history carefully. Here is from the Projects own website:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In February, 1997,  the Ministry of Surface Transport  made Tuticorin Port Trust as Nodal Agency for the Project,  and  subsequently the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute  (NEERI), Nagpur was appointed by Ministry of Surface Transport in July 1997 to prepare the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) of the Project   The IEE study report indicated that the Project is environmentally safe with negligible effect on the eco system and the Marine National Park of the Gulf of Mannar.  The report also recommended a particular alignment of the canal cutting the Pamban Island, east of Kothandaramasamy temple, which will cause least damage to the biota  and the environment . 

As per instructions of the Ministry in February, 2002, NEERI was entrusted to conduct the following studies:-  
(i)   Techno-economic viability, and
(ii)   Environmental Impact Assessment.  

Tuticorin Port Trust later engaged M/s. L & T-Ramboll Consulting Engineers, Chennai in 2004 for preparation of a Detailed Project Report, which has clearly established the financial viability of the Project and has also prescribed a stringent Environmental Management Plan for preserving and conserving the rich bio-diversity in the project region.

History of Sethusamudram Channel?
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

So even to a no-expert, it is obvious that engagement of NEERI was the only progress made during NDA's rule at the center. The scope of NEERI's engagement too, seems to be in RE-evaluating the IEE's recommendations. All the project progress has been made quickly after 2004.

Also, even see the inaugural speech of "PMji" (the site has this as file name PMji.html!):

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->http://sethusamudram.gov.in/PMji.htm

COMMENCEMENT OF WORKS ON SETHUSAMUDRAM SHIP CHANNEL PROJECT MADURAI, 2ND JULY, 2005

PRIME MINISTER’S ADDRESS

Respected Thiru. Karunanidhi, Respected Soniaji, My Colleagues, Ladies & Gentlemen.  <span style='color:blue'>[What is Respected Soniaji's locus standi in the project?  Why is she attending (in fact addressing) the inauguration?  Is she a minister? Chief Minister? Expert? or what is she?]</span>

           It gives me immense pleasure to be here to launch the commencement of work on the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project.  This is the <span style='color:red'>fullfillment of a sacred assurance</span> we gave the people of our country, especially the people of Tamil Nadu, through the National Common Minimum Programme.  <b>[so it is UPA's common Minimum Program.  Dont give any hand in it to BJP.  ALso it is this guy's SACRED obligation.  Cann't even a blind man see the whole deal through?]</b>

            2.         The last time I visited Tamil Nadu it was to offer my sympathy and help in your hour of need when the Tsunami struck the coast.  At that time I joined you in mourning the destruction that the sea and wrought upon us.  Today I come to celebrate the bounty that the sea has brought to the people of this region for centuries.  A Tsunami may occur once in a thousand years, but the waves from the seas reach us every minute of the day and night bringing trade, commence, wealth, opportunity, visitors and the livelihood of the coastal communities.

            3.         The Sethusamudram Project will increase the prospect for generating income and employment from the economy of the sea.  It is a historic day for the country.  An idea first conveived in 1860, almost one and half centuries ago, is now being implemented.  I congratulate our respected leaders <span style='color:red'>Thiru. Karunanidhi and Thirumathi Sonia Gandhi, the Shipping Minister,  Thiru. T.R. Baalu, the engineers and the officials associated with this project for their role in realizing this dream.</span>  [Yes these are the people behind it.  Don't drag BJP in it]

I greet the people of Tamil Nadu on this momentous occasion.   The Sethusamudram Project is one of the most ambitious dredging projects to be ever conceived in the Indian Port Sector.  However, given the environmentally sensitive nature of the marine biosphere reserve in this region.  I urge the project authorities to be mindful and respectful of nature and the maritime environment of the channel.  Man has no right to destroy our natural heritage.  Nor can we be unmindful of posterity.  Posterity is, after all our own children and grand children.

4.         I am sure that the completion of this project would lead to all round development of the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and the Coromandel Coast.  It will rejuvenate the ports and harbours, reduce the cost of maritime transportation, promote the movement of cargo along the coast.  The coastal  communities of peninsular India – from Gujarat to Konkan to Malabar to the Coromandel and Bengal coasts – have sailed forth for centuries as traders and workers.

5.         India, with its long coastline and the central location in the Indian Ocean has had its place amongs the most formidable maritime nations in the past.  Indian Merchants from the ancient port towns all along the peninsula have sailed to distant lands.  Indian boats and ships have sailed to Java, Samatra and Viet Nam; to Persia and Africa ; and to the many islands of the Indian Ocean.  They have traded in spices, silk and other exotic commodities.  The Indian Port cities were known to be bustling centers of maritime trade and commerce in the ancient and medieval period.  A domestic shipping industry thrived under this stimulus.

6.         All great nations and economics of the world have had a vibrant and prosperous maritime economy.  Ship building, ports, global trade, Each of these elements generates incomes, employment, new opportunities and new challenges.  Maritime trade is a complex matrix of various players – shipping lines, port authorities, terminal operators, freight forwarders, inland transporters, all catering to transportation of goods through sea-transport.  In this matrix, Ports are the pivot as central node for modal exchange of cargo as well as hub of the port community.  In more recent decades our maritime economy has not developed as much as it should have.  Our Government is paying special attention to the development of our ports and to maritime trade.  I am happy to say that the introduction of tonnage tax by our Government has helped to provide a level playing field to Indian shipping companies visa-vis foreign flagged vessels.  This has resulted in about 15% increase in the gross tonnage of our shipping.

7.         Indian ports should assume a more proactive role as facilitator of trade along with a range of value added services.  In the 10th Five Year Plan we have set new and higher targets for enhancement of port capacity.  We want to encourage new investment in port development through a partnership between the public and private sectors.  I am delighted to learn that Indian Ports have been able to attract the world’s leading Port and Terminal operators as private sector partners.  We welcome both public and private investment, both domestic and foreign investment, in this sector.  Through the Public-Private Partnership route we would also like to encourage Indian Entrepreneurs’ participation in the terminal operations through suitable policy support.

8.         Today India once again reconnects with the world around us.  We are again reviving our economic and cultural links with our wider Asian neighbours – from the Far East to Central Asia.  In this new adventure of enterprise and creativity, the Sethusamudram Project is an important link.       I hope it will encourage a revival of this great and glorious maritime tradition.

9.         Tamilnadu and the people of this region have been an integral part of this great maritime history of our country.  Tamil literature abounds with references to trade with Rome and Greece among other countries.  The great Tamil Kings Cheras, Cholas and Pandayas carefully nurtured the port cities of Korkai, Musiri, Thondi, Poompuhar, Vanchi etc.  The great expeditions taken from these port cities have spread Indian culture far and wide.  They have taken the Tamil language, an ancient and classical language along with Sanskrit, to distant lands.  Our Government is proud of the fact that we have restored to Tamil its ancient glory by recognizing it as a Classical Language of great antiquity on par with Sanskrit.  We are committed to the full development of this great language of a great people.  I salute my brothers and sisters of Tamil Nadu. 

10.       I have repeatedly said that our country needs world class infrastructure.  We need the best, and cannot be satisfied with the second best.   Our roads, our telecom and power supply systems, our railways and ports, our schools and hospitals.  The people of India deserve the best.  They have waited far too long for this.  We have set for ourselves a growth target of 7% to 8% over the next decade, compared to about 6$ we have achieved over the past decade.  The key to this growth acceleration is greater investment.  Infrastructure development not only provides enabling environment fro growth of trade and industry but by itself fuels the growth.  The march to such an economic strength would definitely require a state of the art maritime infrastructure, which is efficient, professionally managed to sub-serve the economic interests of the nation.  I see Seethusamudram Project as a step forward in strengthening the maritime infrastructure.

11.       Friends, Tamil Nadu has been at the forefront of our National Development.  Your state is one of the most industrially developed states.  To give further boost to the industrialization of Tamil Nadu our Government has taken several steps to boost the textiles, leather, sugar and automobiles industries.  I am happy to announce that we have decided to help in creating a world class automobile testing facility in Chennai.   This will be a major project that will attract huge investment both directly and indirectly.  It will give a boost to Tamil Nadu’s already developed automotive sector.  Your name in the world auto industry is being written in gold not just by companies like TVS and Hyundai, but also by drivers like Narain Karthikeyan!.

          Friends, the sea provides livelihood to multitude of fishermen and their families.  I urge the project authorities to be sensitive towards their needs and concerns while implementing the project.  The community development work should be undertaken along with the development of fishing harbours for the benefit of the local community.

12.       I hope this project will also benefit our neighbours in the Indian Ocean region.  Their prosperity is our prosperity.  Their welfare is our welfare.  This has been the way we in India have lived with our neighbours, since the beginning of our civilization.  This channel must be a bridge not a divide.   I have great pleasure in inaugurating the project works of the Sethusamudram Navigation Channel.  I greet the people of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and this entire region.  May the sea bring prosperity to all.

[Moron made it a point not to mention Sri Ram's connection in the whole region]
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So PLEASE keep all the credit of the great project for the Congressi Communist Dravidist and Christists.

But there is more. SONIA-JI's address. Again whats her position by the way, that she will address a government inauguration affair??? ANyways here are the pearls:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->http://sethusamudram.gov.in/sji.htm

INAUGURATION OF THE SETHUSAMUDRAM PROJECT

Saturday, 2nd July 2005 (Madurai, Tamil Nadu)

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji, Thiru. Karunanidhi Ji, Governor SS Barnalaji, Thiru. T.R. Baalu, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

<span style='color:red'>Today, we realize a 150 year old dream.</span>
[There she goes.  WE is she and her colonial forefathers.  Who else had had this dream?]

The Sethusamudram project has been talked about all these years, but <span style='color:red'>little was done to make it a working reality.  A Government at the centre, a Government in which the DMK, the PMK and the MDMK are allies and partners, has moved ahead decisively to bring to realization this technologically challenging and economically vital project.  </span> It is a project that will benefit lakhs of people through the creation of new jobs.  It will stimulate trade and navigation, and encourage tourism and other economic activity.

[See this? She is right! LITTLE was ever done, until she became the empress.  I agree she is right.  All credit to Congressi-Dravidists-Christists.  Matter settles here in her own words.  These people are behind it.  <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>So why is "QUICKLY" a factor?  What is the source of immediacy?]</span>

The ambitious project has important national, regional and strategic implications as it provides a continuous navigable sea lane running within our territorial waters.  Tamil Nadu, particularly its southern districts, stands to gain significantly.  Its coastal economy and its maritime trade will be boosted.

I am aware that environmentalists have raised some issues.  Fears have been expressed about the impact on coral reefs, for example.  I am confident that the project authorities are alive and sensitive to these concerns and will implement the project in  manner that protects and preserves the local ecology.

[Yes madam. Coral Reef is the point.  Not Ramar bridge.  Ecology.  Not the heritage.  But isn't that what you want to quickly destroy while the time lasts?]

The fishermen communities also will need to be paid particular attention.  These communities, as the recent tsunami tragedy starkly reminded us, are amongst the most vulnerable sections of our society. They need our care and concern, and we must make sure that their interests are protected, and that their welfare is central to our endeavours.

When the tsunami struck the southern coast, we shared in your sarrow and worked hard to ensure that the lakhs of families affected by the unprecedented calamity were provided adequate relief as quickly as possible.  Our country had not seen a natural disaster of this magnitude and the process of rehabilitation and reconstruction is a continuing one.  We are committed to implementing these plans.

Today’s youth is very keen on it. We have ensured that software is now available in Tamil so that young boys and girls from all over the state can acquire computer skills and literacy.

Our Government has already give Tamil the status of a classical language.  ['Our' - Queen Victoria addressing her subjects?  ANd what is meant by 'status of a classical language' you moron?]

It is our government that has taken Tamil Nadu’s highly successful mid-day meal programme in schools first launched by the great leader, K.Kamaraj in the late 1950’s and ensured its implementation in other states of the country.

I could enumerate other programmes and projects that the UPA has introduced in Tamil Nadu but this is not the occasion to do so.  What I do want to convey is the special position that Tamil Nadu occupies in the UPA.  Dr. Kalaignar Karunanidhi himself is one of the main architects of the UPA and he has helped guide our coalition over the past year.

Once again, let me say how happy I am that the Sethusamudram project is being launched today.  I congratulate and thank Thiru. T.R. Baalu and all those associated with this historic project.  It is truly a day of satisfaction, a historic moment for Tamil Nadu and for the country.

[Happy indeed you are madam.  You did what tyrants before you could not do.]

Thank you.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

And also see the language the project site uses.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In 1862, a Parliamentary Committee of <b>Her Majesty’s </b>Government was appointed...

In 1863, His Excellency Sir William Dennison, R.E., Acting Governor of Madras, visited Pamban...

http://sethusamudram.gov.in/History.asp
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Throughout, they talk about 'ADAM's Bridge' and not once call it Ramar Bridge which is how it has been known to people. No doubt remains in which mindset these morons have. They still live in the colonial slavery - have just moved on from one "her majesty's government" to the other "her majesty's government".

And the irony of all that beats me is this. The Chairman/CEO of Sethusamudram CL is Shri N.K. <span style='color:red'>Raghupathy</span>. They found a person with perfect name to damage the Ramar bridge!


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

[quote=narayanan,Mar 10 2007, 09:20 PM] The commentator is semi-literate, but has edited out the "cr*p" designation with all due apologies. I have been trying to point out patiently for a very long time that opposing public policy should be done with due care to avoid hype, because otherwise it destroys our credibility.

Apologies not accepted because I find there is NO intention to see the other point of view with objectivity. This concerns the lives of a community. IT is good to remember that over 200,000 lives were lost by a tsunami and pay silent homage with 2 minutes of silence praying for these aatman. It ain't no ordinary event; it is a human tragedy and cannot be reduced to back-of-the-envelope type of adhoc questioning to promote some kattamaraan traffic. The project should be viewed in its entirety. There is no reason recorded by PMO as to why the final alignment was approved in preference to the earlier alignments discussed including the one recommended by a Steering Committee and there is no reason recorded by PMO if these alignments were revisited by competent scientific/technological agencies, in the context of the tsunami. Tsunami radically altered the geophysical and bathymetry parameters of the project. I am not even talking at this stage about sealane security in a geostrategic context between Straits of Hormuz and Straits of Malacca -- sealanes which are the very lifetime of modern maritime activities.

It is amusing indeed, to see the commentator's concern for credibility. A few individuals' credibility is not the issue here. One does not have to care for reputations damaged by irresponsible comments later offering due apologies (which mean nothing), given the tone and tenor backed by the inability to see the project details objectively and see how an alignment can be chosen which takes into account impact of a tsunami (a variable which was NOT taken into account in earlier studies). After the PMO brought this up, the minimum that should have been done is to ask NEERI and NIOT to go back to the drawing board and return with their views. This was NOT done. This is an act of criminal negligence on the part of the GOI and other authorities managing the project. It is shocking that the commentator should be backing such criminality of gigantic proportions endangering the lives of present and future generations.

The fact is startk and simple. After the tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, the entire project should have been re-evaluated because the seabed had been shown to have risen by upto 200 meters in some places. Such was the impact of the 9.0 plate tectonic with epicenter in Aceh.

It is unfortunate that comments are being made in plenty without first checking out allt the feasibility studies and computer simulations related to tsunami. I find it reprehensible that reputations are sought to be smeared. I am sure Dr. Tad S. Murthy will be able to defend himself in any scientific forum, as he did in an international conference held on the subject of tsunami. I will anyday go by the guidance of someone who has studied tsunami for over 20 years.

Tsunami computer simulation (powerpoint show)
http://sarasvati95.googlepages.com/tsunami.pps

Because shoaling effects are what make the Tsunamis extreme, detailed information of the coastline is essential…
The same gif image is available in video format at http://www.dhisoftware.com/general/News/Ts...hd01A2_DivX.avi (Can be played using Windows Media Player).
Details are provided in a technical paper presented in an international symposium. http://www.dhisoftware.com/mike21/download...amiPaper_v5.pdf

http://www.dhisoftware.com/general/News/Tsunami/index.htm

Frame from a computer animation of the December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami (animation can be viewed at URL http://staff.aist.go.jp/kenji.satake/animation.gif ). Frame shows the tsunami 10 minutes after it was triggered by the earthquake. Red represents a positive wave (crest arrives first), and blue represents a negative wave (trough arrives first—drawdown warns of approaching crest of tsunami wave). Deeper colors represent larger wave heights. (Note: This model shows a longer wave front than the oblique-perspective model, because the modeler assumed a longer fault rupture as the tsunami trigger. Seismologists are still sifting through the evidence to determine the length of the deep rupture that caused the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.)

Post-Tsunami Field Surveys
By December 31, 2004, six international teams (including Japanese and American teams) had been formed to document the magnitude and effects of the tsunami before the evidence is destroyed. Typically, such teams arrive in the affected areas about one to three weeks after the tsunami occurs. Because this was the largest tsunami in more than 40 years and the area affected is very large, there could be as many as a dozen international teams investigating the tsunami. USGS oceanographer Bruce Jaffe and USGS geologist Bob Morton traveled to Sri Lanka from January 7 to 16 with an international team funded by the National Science Foundation and the USGS to examine inundation areas, estimate wave heights, determine the tsunami's precise arrival time, scour the area for geologic evidence and sedimentary deposits, and examine structural damage. As of this writing, the USGS had also been invited to have scientists participate in post-tsunami surveys in India, Thailand, and Sumatra.
Ideally, post-tsunami surveys will include both a quick response focusing on ephemeral evidence and a later response (possibly in February or March) focusing on tsunami sedimentation and erosion. The quick response will include measurements of water levels, inundation distances (horizontal distance from the shoreline to the farthest inland reach of the tsunami), and indicators of the tsunami's flow direction and flow velocity. The later response will focus on the sediment deposited by the tsunami: whether it has characteristics that reflect those of the tsunami itself, such as its height, power, and extent; how much of the sediment is likely to be preserved in the geologic record; and how much is likely to be eroded away. The more we learn about sedimentary deposits from modern tsunamis, the more accurately we can identify and decipher sedimentary deposits from ancient tsunamis. Because scientists cannot yet predict when a tsunami will occur, learning to read a geologic record of past tsunamis may be one of the only ways to assess future risk.
USGS scientists have conducted such studies of sediment deposited by recent tsunamis in Papua New Guinea (tsunami of 1998, see Preliminary Analysis of Sedimentary Deposits from the 1998 PNG Tsunami) and Peru (tsunami of 2001, see Preliminary Analysis of Sedimentary Deposits from the June 23, 2001 Peru Tsunami ). They are working to determine how sediment layers deposited by tsunamis differ from those deposited by large storms, such as hurricanes, to aid identification of tsunami deposits in the geologic record (see Sound Waves article "Group Aims to Distinguish Tsunami Deposits from Large-Storm Deposits in the Geologic Record").
Tsunami Information on the Web
Many Web sites have information about the Indian Ocean tsunami and tsunamis in general. Here are a few particularly useful ones:
• USGS Northern Sumatra Earthquake event page: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqinthenews/2004/usslav/
• USGS site, with basic tsunami information: http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/tsunami/basics.html
• Pacific Marine Environmental Lab (PMEL): http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tsunami/home.html
• Russian Tsunami Laboratory: http://tsun.sscc.ru/tsulab/20041226.htm
• UNESCO site, with animation and links to additional news stories: http://ioc.unesco.org/itsu/
• International Research Institute for Climate Prediction site, with scientific background on the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami: http://iri.columbia.edu/~lareef/tsunami/
• USGS Circular 1187, "Surviving a Tsunami—Lessons from Chile, Hawaii, and Japan" (also available in Spanish): http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/c1187/
• USGS site addressing the question "Can it happen here in the United States?": http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/eqinth...slav/canit.html (summarized in article "Could It Happen Here?," this issue)
The sixteen detailed queries raised by PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) on 8 March 2005 and the observations provided (30 June 2005, that is the date the information was posted on the government website) by Tuticorin Port Trust) are cited at the following URL in the official website of Sethusamudram Corporation:

http://sethusamudram.gov.in/Prime.asp

This is attached as Annex 1.

Prof. Tad S. Murthy of Canada raised serious concerns on the devastation of Kerala through the proposed canal which will suck in the next tsunami waves if the present alignment is retained. The responses, again provided by Tuticorin Port Trust are attached in Annex 2. (This Annex is reproduced from URL http://sethusamudram.gov.in/TedArticle.asp

This note deals with the following issues:

1. Questions raised by Prime Minister’s Office
2. Questions raised by Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board
3. Questions raised by tsunami expert Prof Tad S Murthy
4. Questions related to impact on aquatic environment of Gulf of Mannar
5. Questions related to social impact on livelihoods of coastal people (not covered by impact analyses)
6. Impact on sentiments of the people based on tradition of Ramar bridge

1. Questions raised by Prime Minister’s Office

The timing of the response by Tuticorin Port Trust is significant. After two days, the SSCP (Sethusamudram Canal Project) was inaugurated at Madurai.

There is no indication if NEERI was asked to review its 2004 environmental impact analysis.

There is also no indication if NEERI was asked to respond to PMO’s observations of 8 March 2005.

It is strange that Tuticorin Port Trust was asked to respond to PMO’s queries. The correct agency should have been NEERI under the agreement entered into between Govt. of India and NEERI. See the terms of agreement with NEERI at http://sethusamudram.gov.in/Terms.asp

The answers of the Tuticorin Port Trust which formed the basis for inaugurating the project on July 2, 2005 are apparently prepared by a private company, Dr.P.Chandramohan of Indomer Hydraulics Pvt.Ltd., Chennai. The possible conflict of interests in engaging a potential contractor/consultant in making such an evaluation is a matter of concern impacting on the impartiality and objectivity of the answers provided. On such a serious concern raised by PMO, the evaluation of the impact of a tsunami on the canal project has been irresponsibly and haphazardly managed. All the PMO’s concerns should have been referred to NEERI and the NEERI should have been asked to re-evaluate the two principal issues: 1. impact of another tsunami on the canal as aligned; 2. impact on the ocean currents by the choice of dumping areas for the dredged materials. These two issues were NOT evaluated by NEERI because the final alignment was not known to NEERI and tsunami struck on 26 December 2004, an event which was taken into account in the earlier evaluation report of NEERI.

The haste with which Tuticorn Port Trust was asked to respond to PMO’s queries raises serious questions on the violation of the process instituted by the Government in conducting an unbiased and objective evalution by a competent agency. The competence of Tuticorin Port Trust in answering all the 14 queries raised by PMO is unclear. This violation of due process raises serious questions on the viability of the entire project.

2. Questions raised by Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board

An Expert Committee appointed by Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board had pointed out shortcomings in the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) Report. http://sethunews.blogspot.com/

3. Questions raised by Prof. Tad S. Murthy

Similarly the concerned raised by the tsunami expert Prof Tad S Murthy should have been referred to NEERI for review and response.

In a recent response, Prof. Murthy of Canada has further mentioned that he mentioned about his concerns to the Chairman of SSCP, Mr. Raghupathy and assumed that as a senior IAS officer Mr. Raghupathy would have taken his concerns into account. There is no indication if Mr. Raghupathy reported these issues to the authorities concerned and organized for a scientific technical re-evaluation of the entire project and in particular, its alignment in view of the serious nature of the observation of Prof. Murthy that the next tsunami will devastate Kerala coastline if the canal is not re-aligned to avoid sucking in the next tsunami waves.

The possibility of a next tsunami are very real. There is a high probability that plate tectonic events (subduction of Indian plate under Burmese plate) will continue resulting in another tsunami. This has been confirmed by scientific simulation models. In Japan and Hawaii, tsunami are regular events and Japan has taken measures by raising high protection walls along the coastline. In a situation where the Sethu bridge (Adam’s bridge) served as a natural protective wall during the last tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, it will be a serious breach of trust and an impending disaster to the coastline of Bharatam. A re-evaluation of the project should be undertaken immediately and the work on SSCP should be suspended until such evaluation is carried out through world’s reputed experts.

Another serious area of concern is the fact that while Panama and Suez canals are canals dug out of land areas, the SSCP is proposed to be constructed within the sea. There is no experience anywhere in the world for such a canal within the sea. It is submitted that Tuticorin Port Trust is NOT the competent authority to provide answers to PMO’s queries. Expert opinions should be obtained on the implications of building a canal within the sea, particularly in a region where the seabed has been raised by half because of the continuous accumulation of shoals brought in the ocean currents.

The impact on the flow of the ocean currents which have an effect on climate and monsoon cycles by the creation of a canal should also be evaluated. There is no indication that NEERI has undertaken such an impact analysis. There are not enough studies on the ocean currents in the region and their effects on the monsoon systems created by the inter-tropical convergence zone around Taiwan which results in regular storms and cyclones all along the Bay of Bengal coastline with repeated damages caused in the coastline of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa..

4. Impact of the project on aquatic environment

A rapid assessment on corals of Gulf of Mannar after the tsunami was made by Dr. JK Patterson Edward. This is available at http://sethusamudram.gov.in/PeterArticle.asp This report concludes that the tsunami did NOT significantly impact the corals.

But this report does not provide any analysis of the impact of the project on aquatic environment with particular reference to the conch-shell diving industry which is the major industry in the Keezhakkarai group of 7 islands.

5.Questions related to social impact of SSCP not covered by impact analyses

What impact the SSCP will have on the livelihood of the shell-divers is unclear from the reports made available so far. Similar impact analysis on the livelihood of fisher folk and other people dependent upon the marine resources has NOT been included in the impact analyses.

This leads to the imperative of the evaluating the sociological impact and impact on the livelihoods of the coastal people dependent on the coastline and the marine resources. What impact the SSCP will have on the area available for fishing and other aquatic industries is not clearly indicated in the impact analyses reports.

6.Impact on sentiments of the people based on tradition of Ramar bridge

In a 1747 map prepared by Netherlands, Ramancoil was shown near Dhanushkodi island. In a 1788 map prepared by Joseph Banks (available in Saraswati Mahal Library, Tanjavur), Rama temple and Ramar Bridge were shown. In a 1804 map produced by Rennel (First Surveyor General of India), the name Ramar Bridge was changed to Adam’s Bridge.

The fact which is clear from these historical maps is that there was a bridge and that this was associated with Sri Rama according to the Bharatiya tradition since place names are normally assigned by the local people. The maps are based on such information gathered from local people about place and monument names.

The NASA images clearly establish a land bridge between Dhanushkodi island (Rameshwaram side) and Talaimannar island (Srilanka side). This bridge is composed of a series of islands and shoals (sand accumulations created by ocean currents). Thus, the entire bridge right from the sea-bed to the surface sea level is a bridge formation which has been recognized as a land bridge linking the two regions: Bharatam and Srilanka. To what extent there was manual intervention in connecting the gaps between the shoals and islands during the pre-historic periods as detailed in the ancient texts such as Ramayanam is a matter for detailed marine archaeological and geological evaluation. The reports of submergence of Kumarikandam, Poompuhar, Dwaraka along the coastline and the formation of the Gulf of Khamba about 10000 years ago (confirmed by scientists of National Institute of Ocean Technology) point to the possibility that the recent historical record of submergence of Dhanushkodi island should provide for a pause and re-evaluation of the impact of the ocean currents and changes in sea-level on the coastline and also on the SSCP. Such a multi-disciplinary archaeological-geological-aquatic environment study should be undertaken respecting the sentiments of the people who has looked upon the bridge as a land-link between Bharatam and Srilanka. The fact that India is described in Government logo as Aasetu himachala paryantam, the fact that the project itself is called Sethusamudram canal project (Sethu means bridge), confirms the tradition related to the bridge. Hurting the sentiments of the people who revere Sri Rama as a divinity and personification of dharma will be a serious breach of trust and utter disdain for peoples’ sentiments. In fact, the SSCP should be reconsidered and the pros-and-cons of reactivating the land bridge between Srilanka and Bharatam should be considered afresh. A bridge may be more beneficial for both countries than a canal. The canal has limited draught and will NOT provide for the movement of large-sized tankers of the carrying capacity of, say, 2 million tones of fuel oils from the Persian Gulf region. The canal may have only a limited use for very small naval vessels. The impact on coast guard to secure the sea-lanes has also to be evaluated. The most serious concern is that this is an experimental project for constructing a canal within the ocean, and will be unprecedented in the history of navigation. Should Bharatam undertake such a high risk project with questionable value to both Bharatam and Srilanka. The authorities should set up a high-level, multi-disciplinary panel including representatives from the people of the region to re-evaluate the project, remembering that the British regime chose NOT to construct this project and instead used the railways to carry bulk commodities from the coal and iron-ore belts to the coastal cities like Chennai, Mumbai and Tuticorin. Even the Tuticorin projects will get their sulphur-free-coal imported from Australia and the canal will not carry naval vessels carrying such imports and certainly not the fuels imported from the Gulf region.

Above all this is the imperative of compassion, respect for tradition. IT is as important a variable in decision-making as the mathematical gimmicks of tsunami wave spans.

k


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Mar 11 2007, 01:25 PM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Mar 11 2007, 01:25 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> As for this portion of post 11:...And the irony of all that beats me is this.  The Chairman/CEO of Sethusamudram CL is Shri N.K. <span style='color:red'>Raghupathy</span>.  They found a person with perfect name to damage the Ramar bridge! [right][snapback]65480[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

There is the further irony, Bodhi ji. The criminalised polity is adding insult to injury. It is learnt that with the failure of the first rig, the second rig is to be named as 'Hanuman'. This is the level of respect in Hindu rashtra for the sacredness associated with ramasethu as ramamandiram. I saw a beautiful rendering of Ramayana for children made by a Japanese company. There is a song there which my grandchildren enjoy the most. They sing: rammandir, rammandir as they walk across the ramasethu. No wonder, the 1747 map prepared by Netherlands, calls Rames'waram, Ramancoil I.

Here are some latest developments, just reported. k

11 March 2007

Proceed Along Alternative Route -Preserve Ram setu

Appeal by the Sarsanghachalak and Sarkaryavah
to the Government on Setu Samudram Project
___________________________________________________________________
The RSS is deeply concerned over the avoidable destruction of the age-old under-sea bridge popularly known as Ram Setu due to the continuing dredging work under the Setu Samudram Ship Channel project near Rameswaram.
Crores of Hindus believe that this under-water wonder is the bridge constructed by Lord Ram with the help of vanaras during his campaign against Ravan. The satellite images released by the NASA a couple of years ago confirmed that there indeed exists a bridge-like construction in the sea-bed, thus fortifying the belief of millions of Hindus.
We understand the economic significance of the Setu Samudram Ship Channel project. However this projects involves complete destruction of this ancient bridge that is representative of Bharat's ancient-most and highly revered civilizational history. Besides destruction of Bharat's most cherished symbol of ancient heritage it also causes enormous damage to the flora and fauna. Already scores of rare sea animals like whales have been killed in the first phase of the project itself.
There has been a great anxiety and anguish ever since the Government of Bharat announced Setu Samudram project. Millions of people, including eminent archaeologists, environmentalists and historians, have opposed the project in the present form. About 5 million people have signed a petition urging the President of Bharat to intervene and save our national heritage.
A case has been filed by the revered religious leaders against the project in the Rameswaram court. Dredging equipment got damaged. Yet, it is most unfortunate that the Government is going ahead with a vengeance turning a blind eye to the objections raised by the right-thinking citizens of the country.
We are deeply concerned that soon the dredging work will reach the spot where the Ram Setu stands and in no time the most precious cultural and civilisational landmark of the Hindus will wither away.
We once again appeal to the Government to immediately stop the work on the project and appoint a committee to explore the possibility of finishing the project without destroying the Ram Setu. Experts have suggested that the objective of the project can be achieved by bypassing the ancient bridge and dredging along a different route, thus protecting the monument.
The RSS extends all its support to the campaign by the Dharmacharyas, archaeologists, environmentalists and other concerned citizens towards preservation of this ancient monument.
Sd/- Sd/-
(Mohan Bhagwat) (K.S. Sudarshan) Sarkaryavah Sarsanghachalak
http://www.rss.org/New_RSS/News/NewsDetail.jsp

Press release on Ram Sethu project
Poojya Sri Shankaracharya of Puri-Jaganath Peeta and Dr. Shiva Subramanya, a very well known US Scientist and Space / Defense Systems Engineer, met Hon. Rastrapati (President) Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen (APJ) Abdul Kalam on 17 Feb. 2007 in Rastrapati Bhavan to discus the details of Sri Rama Sethu / Sri Hanuman Sethu as it is threatened by an on-going dredging operations.
Poojya Swamiji, on behalf the Saints, Sadhus and other organizations, asked the President to immediately Refer the matter to the Supreme Court of Bharat and thus stopping the dredging operations and undertake the necessary Archeological, Anthropological, and other Scientific Investigations to verify the antiquity of the Sri Rama Sethu and also save the site as a Bharat/World Heritage site, per United Nations and UNESCO.
Dr. Shiva Subramanya, on behalf of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Hindu Heritage Foundation of Bharat and US, presented some 14 chart Power Point Presentation containing some of the Photographs taken from various Space-based sensors owned by US, EU, Russia and Indian Space Organizations over the past 20 plus years. The President asked many pertinent questions and Dr Shiva answered all of them to the satisfaction of the Rastrapa
The meeting lasted about 45 minutes. After the meeting with the President, Swamiji addressed the News Organizations outside the Presidential Chambers and said that a conspiracy against the Hindus is being hatched in India and elsewhere and a systematic destruction of the heritage of the Hindus is taking place in India and the Saints will not sit idle by.
http://www.rss.org/New_RSS/News/NewsDetail.jsp



Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - narayanan - 03-11-2007

Ah! Thank you!

Now it comes out:
(Only progress between <b>1998</b> and <b>May 2004</b>):



<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As per instructions of the Ministry in February, 2002, NEERI was entrusted to conduct the following studies:- 
(i)  Techno-economic viability, and
(ii)  Environmental Impact Assessment. 

Tuticorin Port Trust later engaged M/s. L & T-Ramboll Consulting Engineers, Chennai in 2004 for preparation of a Detailed Project Report, <b>which has clearly established the financial viability of the Project </b>and <b>has also prescribed a stringent Environmental Management Plan for preserving and conserving the rich bio-diversity in the project region.</b>

......


So even to a no-expert, it is obvious that engagement of NEERI was the only progress made during NDA's rule at the center. The scope of NEERI's engagement too, seems to be in RE-evaluating the IEE's recommendations. <b>All the project progress has been made quickly after 2004.</b> <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

So the Energizer Bunnies did NOTHING other than their usual hyperventilation, while they had the chance to do the job "right", do "complete studies" etc. - for 6 long years. The NEERI established that there was indeed good baksheesh to go around for all, and showed how the environmental concerns could be satisfied, but STILL the EBs did not move their behinds. Very typical tale.

Now that the Government of India is actually moving ahead, the EBs are bemoaning the lost baksheesh.

Sheesh!!

I believe this is what is caled

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Shunakah in da go-shaala <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> to avoid using westernized / Xtian Evanjehadic terminology. They won't move their own behinds to do anything useful, and when others do it, they jump up and down and spread garbage.


Again, I must thank the author for so kindly posting above, the glaring contrast between the calm science and engineering behind the project, and the sheer shrill political hype of the Opposition. I could not have asked for better teamwork in exposing the hollowness of the RSS propaganda.

Now we ARE able to separate out the Facts vs. the Myths.

Thanks!


Sethusamudram Project Facts Vs. Myth - Guest - 03-11-2007

This is a good progress, in your position moving from:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The planning must have reached a critical stage BETWEEN 1998 and 2004 for it to have got to the present cash-distribution stage. In other words, THIS WAS FINE AS PLANNED WHEN THE BJP WAS IN POWER.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

to :

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->So the Energizer Bunnies did NOTHING other than their usual hyperventilation, while they had the chance to do the job "right", do "complete studies" etc. - for 6 long years.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Thank you for the flexibility. But then you continue to contradict your own self in:

a:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The NEERI established that there was indeed good baksheesh to go around for all, and showed how the environmental concerns could be satisfied.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

b:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->but STILL the EBs did not move their behinds.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

and c:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Now that the Government of India is actually moving ahead, the EBs are bemoaning the lost baksheesh.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

If really baksheesh is what they were after, then they MUST have moved their behinds. And they had ample time in doing so, if they were after bakhsheesh, since NEERI was engaged in 2002. I don't think you are suggesting they were idiots who could not figure out the scope of baksheesh then, and realized it only now.

Thank YOU for laying out your objective, which is not inquiring after the truth, but "exposing the hollowness of the RSS propaganda" in your words.