Ecological reasons to oppose Sethusamudram project

  • 14/10/2007

before the Sethusamudram project began, many had cautioned the government against going ahead with the shipway. The ambitious project has claimed its casualty even before the first brick has been laid on it: specialist opinion. The government had long poured scorn over ecological objections against the proposed shipway in the Palk Straits. Many were bought in by its argument that the route by the new canal would drastically shorten the journey between India's eastern and western seaboards.

There was every reason to question the project. The techno-economic feasibility and environmental impact assessment (eia) report submitted by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institution (neeri) in 2004 was a questionable document. Touted as the final eia, it categorically described itself as a rapid assessment and promised a detailed study later. When Coastal Action Network went to Madras High Court questioning the validity of a rapid eia, the project authority described it as an

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