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Sethusamudram project to be ready by November 2008

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STATUS REPORT: Chairman and Managing Director of the Sethusamudram Corporation N.K.Raghupathy coming out of the Coast Guard ship Sarang in Chennai on Friday. Photo:K. Pichumani
STATUS REPORT: Chairman and Managing Director of the Sethusamudram Corporation N.K.Raghupathy coming out of the Coast Guard ship Sarang in Chennai on Friday. Photo:K. Pichumani

Special Correspondent

It will have absolutely no impact on environment, says chairman N.K. Raghupathy

CHENNAI: The Sethusamudram Corporation Limited is confident that the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, which envisages dredging of a channel across the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka, will be commissioned by November 2008, its Chairman and Managing Director, N.K. Raghupathy, said here on Friday.

Delivering a lecture on the project, organised by the Indian Coast Guard for its personnel on board its ship `Sarang', he explained that the two-way channel would be one-way during the experimental phase. As per the approved project plan, the work should be completed in 180 weeks, which came to three-and-a-half years. "We have kept for ourselves three years." As regards the Palk Strait, the Dredging Corporation of India was committed to completing the work on the stretch by June 30 next year. A depth of 8.5 metres had been created as against the 12 metres required. By the end of this month, 9.2 metre depth would be available. On Adam's Bridge side, a spud in a dredger broke down, but the Cochin Shipyard had supplied the repaired part within a short span of 70 days. The stabilising process was on.

The chairman said that the navigational buoys would be installed in January next year. The authorities were finalising the vessel traffic system. "We foresee no problem even if the inter-arrival time of ships goes down."

Mr.Raghupathy said that the project would absolutely have no impact on the environment. On its own accord, the corporation was regularly monitoring the environmental commitments it had given.

Besides a major advantage of a reduction in sailing distance and time when the project comes through, fishermen would benefit directly as four fishing harbours at Muthupet, Thondi, Sethubhavachatram and Mookaiyur in Rameswaram are to be developed.

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