[Assam] RE: [WaterWatch] Kumbhkaran’s Rise For A Day; Sethusamudram

mc mahant mikemahant at hotmail.com
Sat May 5 18:54:34 PDT 2007

I do not know who is more of a  duffer--BJP orCongress -THINK and decide yourself!!
 I  mention just 2 (out of 200)similar follies in Assam Context;
#A.   Bogibeel Rail Bridge PROJECTnear Dibrugarh since'67--going on and on at both banks-but now how to cross the 10Km?.RAIL Reportedly spent  5000Crores already.
Q1 Why try to cross 10Km-when just a 100Km downstream there is acrossing 1 Km across at near Neamati-where British had a river port.
Q2 Why high-Power Teams were sent  in  last 2 years to study the Designs/workings of Denmark-Sweden Rail/Road under sea/Overground link. As if Bogibeel will  ever connect two Continents or facilitate million tons/year goods traffic.Even while there are North Bank AND South Bank British-Built Rail lines in place, goods flowing now/past/ever may run to no more than thousand tons a year .And the big river flows along untouched by Barge Traffic since British left.
Q3  Why Can't BJP or Laloo say" Oops that WAS goofing-not me-STOP IT NOW!"
#B   BRAHMAPUTRA and annual Assam Floods-Vast areas  desertified by sand- No River Traffic to Sea since British-Embankments AUTHORIZED by DELHI-some 40,000 Crores Lent/Spent foolishly "Embanking' UNDER NATIONAL EMBANKMENT POLICY.   Yours Truly Shouting since 1972-Stop Embanking-Dig Deepwater straight channel-Create a Brahmaputra  River Authority-I will tell you how/what/when to recover vastlands/have 365x24 hr Heravy Barge Traffic-eiliminate daily 5000 Trucks/50 Train Rakes toFEEDAssam-- save 6 million Kilolitres Diesel /yearspent on Truck/Rail Cargo.  2 years Back Manmohan made some garbled moanings like that--then nothing more. And Brahmaputra Board Act '80 is still ACT. Board continues.WHAT output?!!Who can say STOP the Nonsense!
Oh my Country!! 
India needs a third Alternative. And Fast.
Mukul Mahant 71yrs.
Consulting Engineer, in Assam

To: vision-india at yahoogroups.co.in; bombaynet at yahoogroups.com; india-water at yahoogroups.com; sg at expressindia.com; suniljain at business-standard.com; tkt at thehindu.co.in; p_democracy at vsnl.com; shravanmodak at yahoo.co.uk; loksatta at satyam.net.in; olga_rbow at yahoo.com; guru at gurumurthy.net; WaterWatch at yahoogroups.com; whengodlaughs at yahoogroups.com; DailySouthAsian at yahoogroups.co.uk; karmayog at yahoogroups.comFrom: povertyfree77 at yahoo.comDate: Fri, 4 May 2007 10:05:01 -0700Subject: [WaterWatch] Kumbhkaran’s Rise For A Day; Sethusamudram

Kumbhkaran’s Rise For A Day; Sethusamudram
Like mythological Kumbhkaran, MM Joshi raised the issue of Sethusamudram for a day in the parliament on behalf of BJP the party dethroned in last elections and aspiring to return back in coming elections after two years of commencement of the work which was remotely started by Prime Minister and widely publicized. He has gone to sleep again. 
This story is about we first create a problem, then create another problem to solve it and in doing so kill another important project that’s why we are lagging. Firstly we located refineries in Gujarat, secondly started shipping surplus in a region to another and thirdly to make it work Sethusamudram was introduced and fourthly it killed TN & Srilanka rail link project as either of the two projects can work in that region. 
In the pictures here you can see “Ram Setu” is physically there in all documents and even a 300 meter wide trench through it will cost Rs.2500 Crores thus there was no merit in BJP’s leading contender for the position of Prime Minister argument that the minister was destroying the eveidence. “This is due to the presence of a shallow region known as Adam’s bridge, located southeast of Rameswaram near Pamban, which connects the Talimannar Coast of Srilanka.” Actually official site acknowledges the link in all documents. 
But what is important is it was immensely advantageous for TN to connect to the Sri Lanka by providing the necessary rail connection along the Ram Setu or Adams Bridge. 
Earlier the data about coastal traffic was not available and I had rightly stated there is little advantage for long distance traffic in accessing the ports of India. In the DPR downloaded the coastal traffic is 20 million tones. But it mainly consists of bulk goods like Petroleum, Coal and Iron Ore. 
It was found 5.2 MT of coal was shipped from eastern side of Sethusamudram to Tuticorin for thermal power station but 2.9 MT of it was loaded at Haldia port near Kolkatta. It will not cost less to take coal to Haldia port and ship it to Tuticorin. It will require 15,000 Tones of coal transport per day or a long haul train a day. 
But even more astonishing was transshipment 7 MT of Petroleum Products loaded at Mumbai and 5 MT terminating at Vishakhapatnam and 2 MT at Chennai that has a refinery already. So refinery at Vishapatnam was a better option than locating major refinery at Jamnagar. As demonstrated by reliance that was originally licensed to install 6 MT refinery added more units to make it 33 MT capacity; even more capacity coming up. Refineries in east India could have added units to meet local demand. 
Even more puzzling is the shipment of 3.2 MT of iron ore from Vishakhpatnam to western region, 1.8 MT for Murmugao (Goa). Goa is exporting 35 MT of iron ore. 
Most of the traffic was either avoidable or railways could have served economically and fast from mining to destination. 
It is also important to state that I told you that there is only one passenger train from Rameshwaram (Home Town Of Indian President) to Chennai that cover the 600 km distance in 18 hours. 
Doubling of the main line in TN ought to have been the top priority of up coming Industrial state of TN. No ship will transport people from Chennai to Tuticorin in three days, trains on double track could do it 15 hours or even less. 
Also there will be no cheaper way to transport men and materials between India and Chennai than the Rail Link between the two countries. 
Ravinder Singh May04, 2007
Progressindia2007 at yahoo.com 
Sethusamudram Too A Stupid Project
India Srilanka Rail Link Could Be Best Option For The Region.
Planning in the country is the hands of most stupid people at a time in history when most of the world is already developed or fast catching up in development parameters. 
It is absolutely scandalous to presume that foreign ships operating in the region will go through the “Trench Between India and Srilanka”. 
But it is real stupid to presume there shall be any traffic from Bay of Bengal Coast to Arabian Sea and in return flow. As you all can discover that most of the traffic from mining area around Jharkhand or Chhatisgarh is just about Rs. 1000 km but going via sea route, distance could be well over 3,000 km. 
Since the average speed of ships due to safety cum environment reasons will be say 10 kmph. So it will take 300 hours journey time plus waiting periods of 2-4 days at both loading and unloading points. Thus the journey time may be 20 days but the east west corridor shall zip through the cargo in theoretically one day only. 
I had downloaded map of the vital area where Sethusamudram Canal is proposed but is ideally suited for rail link. You can see the link already in place right up to the tips of the closest points on Rameshwar Island and Mannar Island that will need about 30 km link. 
I had put the project to test first on environmental considerations which shall be disaster and second on commercial viability, it shall be non performing hence there will be no international traffic, for internal traffic railways are faster and viable alternative. 
Project will cause environmental damage only when it will be put to use, my observation is it will never be used by international traffic. 
In the opening paragraph I have stated that large ships passing close to the sea-shores will cause extensive environmental damage from waves generated by large and fast ships. 
But since no large ship will use this channel which will be similar to submerged “Suez Canal” or “Panama Canal” therefore ships will avoid it for there will be no advantage for most international traffic to use this bottleneck and few numbers that may use it will negotiate it at very slow speed. I don’t think any international traffic will ever use it for why some ship will like to slow down and wait in queue to pass through the submerged canal or deep man made trench and pay toll tax. 
And surely it will be commercial disaster like Konkan Railway that by default serve 75% of its traffic diverted to it from fast double main lines. 
Actually this is an obvious case of non-viability both environmentally and commercially. 
But in process of studying the maps, it was discovered rail lines in India and Sri Lanka need about 30 km of sea link over shallow waters which may connect the two nations with a fast surface link that will be commercially viable and beneficial to both countries in promoting tourism and trade. It shall cost about few hundred crores only. 
It will be overnight journey for people traveling between Chennai and Colombo. 
It will like joining the countries the way Euro Tunnel did it to UK and France but at $200 million cost than $12 billion Euro Link. But Sethusamudram will widen the divide. 
Ravinder Singh 19/05/2005
Sethusamudram rocks Parliament 
Our Political Bureau NEW DELHI May04, 2007 P-3
   THE BJP’s protests over the Sethusamudram Project reached Parliament on Thursday with the issue leading to noisy scenes in both Houses and the Lok Sabha being adjourned briefly after heated exchanges between government and opposition benches. 
   Attacking the ruling UPA inside Parliament and targeting the DMK shipping minister TR Baalu later in a press conference the saffron party alleged that the government was trying to destroy evidence of the existence of the legendary Ram Sethu (bridge) by continuing work on the ship channel project between India and Sri Lanka. 
   At the confernece, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi told reporters that the building of the canal would destroy the Ram Sethu and hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus. Besides it would also not be safe from environmental, climatic and national security point of view, Mr Joshi argued. 
   Mr Baalu, for his part, held in a written reply in Rajya Sabha that there was no “scientific evidence of an ancient man-made structure” in the area earmarked for the project. The Rs 2,427-crore Sethusamudram ship channel project envisages dredging of 167-km channel along the Palk Straits, Palk Bay and Adams Bridge to connect the Bay of Bengal and the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka.” 
   The issue was raised in Lok Sabha during Zero Hour by BJP deputy leader in the House VK Malhotra. He said the government had four options about selecting the alignment for the channel and it should therefore not destroy the Ram Sethu by continuing work on the present alignment. 
   This in turn led to Mr Baalu, along with other DMK members, objecting to the issue being raised in the House on grounds that the matter was subjudice. Mr Baalu said that the matter was pending in the Allahabad High Court and hence the Speaker should not set a wrong precedent by allowing the BJP to raise it. The BJP, however, refuted this statement arguing that it involved the destruction of evidence. In the din that followed the House was adjourned for 20 minutes.    When the proceedings resumed, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee asked Mr Baalu to give him the papers regarding the issue describing it as a “contentious matter”. He also allowed the matter to be raised in the House on another occaision after the pertinent notice had been submitted. 
   In the Rajya Sabha, the minister was asked by RJD leaders Ram Deo Bhandary and Mangani Lal Mandal whether NASA satellites had verified the existence of the remains of the Ram Sethu. Mr Baalu’s replied that there was “scientific evidence” on this count and was asked by Mr Gopal Vyas of the BJP on a supplementary whether the government could find an alternative alignment for the project as the project would make it difficult to tap vast resources of thorium in the area. Mr Baalu, in his reply, said the alignment proposal had been cleared by the previous NDA government. 
   The issue also has a regional political angle to it with the opposition AIADMK in Tamil Nadu targeting Mr Baalu for attempting to destroy evidence about the existence of the bridge from a library in Tanjore. 
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