Indian Naval Chief says, Sethu Samundram is not good for big ships

January 22nd, 2008 - 6:17 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, Jan 22 (ANI): Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Suresh Mehta has said that the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP), which will dredge a channel in a narrow strip of sea between India and Sri Lanka, would not be useful for the navigation of the big ships.

“It is a viable project. But, on completion, it will be useful only for small ships but not to those big ships navigating on international routes, Mehta told reporters here on Monday night.

When he was asked to elaborate the matter further, Admiral Mehta said: This is Tamil Nadu. And it is a sensitive issue, and refused to elaborate.

The 560-million dollar project, approved by the government in 2005, plans to dredge a channel in a narrow strip of sea between India and Sri Lanka, reducing distances and cutting costs for freight traffic.

However, according to the Central Government, research has shown that the “Ramsetu” was a series of sand shoals created by sedimentation and therefore no religious sentiments should be attached to it.

When the project is finished, ships sailing between India’s western and eastern coasts will not have to go around the south of Sri Lanka, and is expected to save up to 36 hours of sailing time.

Hindu groups, however, have been opposing the 560 million dollars project, saying it would destroy the ‘holy’ Ram Sethu, a 48-kilometre chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu to Mannar in Sri Lanka. (ANI)

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