What is Ram Sethu Controversy?
The Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project is inaugurated by Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh on 2nd July 2005 at Kodiakarai near Vedaranyam in Madurai, in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. The project envisages dredging of a ship channel in the shallow portion of the sea to connect the Gulf of Mannar and the Bay of Bengal through the Palk Bay. This would provide a continuous navigable sea route around the Indian Peninsula.
It is pointed out that though Indian subcontinent's southern part is surrounded by sea, the coast of India does not have a continuous navigation channel connecting the east and west coasts. At present the ships coming from the west coast of India has to navigate around Srilankan coast to go to Eastern ports. This is because, the existing water way (lying in between Indian subcontinent and Srilanka) is shallow and not suitable for voyage of ships. Another aspect is that Indian Navy ships, also have to navigate around Srilanka. To solve this problem a navigation channel connecting the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay through north of Adam's Bridge has been planned and this is called Sethusamudram project. Perhaps this may benefit all the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu economically and may not be good for Srilankan Ports. The fact that former Defence Minister of Vajpayee Govt. took initiative to commence this project suggests that this project is of strategical military importance to India, in addition to having economical motives.
It appears there are many valid criticisms against this project as shown by the articles below. And the one argument which simply doesn't hold water is from a religious/communal perspective.
See the satelite image of Palk Bay, Gulf of Mannar, Rameshwaram and Adam's Bridge (ISRO image. ISRO.org)
ISRO Image of Adam's Bridge
See graphis which explains the present navigation route and envisaged chanel route
Frontline- Image- Sethusamudram Chanel
Some of the Ram Sethu related news items are given below.
Visit this site again. You can just remember one name-- countryboat.com to visit all these useful links. Recommend any site to be included -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Click to read more about Setu Samudram Project below:
1) Frontline- Ram Sethu- name derived from Hindu mythology. Adam's bridge- Islamic belief that Adam used the bridge to reach Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka. Scientific facts about how Ram setu is formed. Various geological studies discussed here in one article. One of the most comprehensive reports on geological evolotion of the region and Ramar setu
2) Sethusamudram Corporation Limited weblink. A comprehensive website from official (Indian) point of view. Contains informaiton among others, "What is Sethusamudram Ship Channel", "History of Channel", Reports and Studies including Environmental, Technical feasibility,Marine Geophysical survey etc, Court Judgements, Technical Articles & Observations, Photo Gallery, Maps and Charts and also Text of Prime Minister's inaugural address and that of Sonia Gandhi.
3) Economic and Political Weekly- Questions about Economic viability of the Sethusamudram Canal. 70 per cent of the projected users, will lose $ 4,992.1 if they use the canal at the current tariff structure. A well argued study.
4) Frontline- The twists and turns of Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP). 147-year history.
5) iri.columbia.edu- The International Research Institute for Climate and Society. Under Columbia University website. An environmental study of the scheme (Srilankan study). A good website.
6) Frontline- "In rough waters"- a very good article explains Setusamudram project and (local) fishermen's concerns
7) Countercurrents.org- Possible coercion by India to extract a forced consensus on the Sethusamudram debate, from the Sri Lanka. The need to oppose the UPA-CPM alliance’ hegemonic foreign policy.
8) Manitham- a Tamil NGO working for Human rights and Environmental issues. Websites tamilinfoservice.com and manitham.net are interlinked. A informative site.
9) Rediff.com- Archeological Survey of India findings.
10) www.Nation.lk - Srilankan perspective- Environmental concern-.
11) Hindu Business Line- Prime Minister inaugurates Sethusamudram Project.
12) People Democracy- Yechury . As a result of glaciations in each Ice age there was fall in sea level since enormous bodies of water were kept frozen in large ice sheets. In the last Ice age, in the late Pleistocene, sea level was 100 and 150 metres below. This means Sri Lanka was joined to South India by a broad belt of land around Adam’s Bridge.
13) Sethusamudram.in- A (critical) website explains technical aspects.
14) Frontline- Interview with Suraj Bhan. Member of the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Withdrawal of the affidavit by the government is a setback to the ASI.
15) NDTV video- SethuSamudram- Questions of financial viability.
16) Sify.com- NASA says Ram Sethu is not man made.
17) CPI(M) website. Article by Vandana on Sethusamudram Project controversy.
18) OutlookIndia.com - "A bridge too far"- FAQ on Ram sethu controversy.
19) Rediff.com- Statement by Union Minister Baalu
20) CNN-IBN - UPA to review Setu project, but won't stop construction. Shipping minister Baalu.
21) BBC report on Protest by Hindutva groups.
22) Tamilar.com- Sethu Samudram project- Description & Fact file
23) Financial times- ioseaturtles.org- Disadvantage Columbo- supporting and critical voices. News report
24) gappu.com- webnewswire.com- Essay
25) Times of India- astrophysicist J.V. Narlikar, historian R.S. Sharma says Ram sethu is not man made
26) The Hindu -- N. Ramanujam, Geologyst -- Long shore currents created a discontinuous shoreline- Adam's Bridge
27) R.N. Iyer, Gulf Weekly. Explains what is Ramayana story and the dispute. Arguing the case from a believer's point of view, the article suggests to build a Highway connecting Sri Lanka and India, in the model of Bahrain-Saudi Causeway.
29) Indian Express- Rama’s bridge -3,500 years old- Centre for Remote Sensing (CRS) -Prof. S.M. Ramasamy-of Bharathidasan University
30) Hindustan Times- Space photos not proof of Ram setu- NASA.
31) Britannica.com- Adam's Bridge
32) Hindu News Online- Sangh Parivar activists attacked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi's daughter's house in Bangalore. Set fire Tamil Nadu state bus. Two killed. Sangh Parivar activists arrested in connection with attacks. (21th Sept. 2007)
33) Frontline- The man who spearheaded RSS campaign to preserve Ram Sethu exposed. The self claimed scientist's credentials were fake. Withdrawal of affidavit gave ammunition to anti- Setusamudram project campaign.