Staff Reporter

They will help to monitor the movement of ships

RAMANATHAPURAM: Even as the Navy has started work on installing nine radars along the coast of the Palk Bay and the Palk Strait, the Sethusamudram Corporation Limited has decided to install five radars along the Sethu channel to monitor the movement of ships.

N.K. Raghupathy, Chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust, and Chief Executive Officer, Sethusamudram Corporation Limited, told The Hindu that besides establishing radars at three offshore points, the Corporation would erect radars at Dhanushkodi and Point Calimere. The radars would help Sethusamudram Corporation officials ascertain the movement of ships. Nearly one-third of the water spread of the Bay of Bengal could be brought under radar surveillance. The formalities for installing them would begin soon.

Mr. Raghupathy said the Vessel Traffic Management System to regulate the traffic of ships in the channel would be established at Dhanushkodi, where a service jetty and slipways for repairing ships would also come up. The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras had been roped in for designing the master complex of the shore-based facilities. It had conducted studies to locate the facilities at appropriate places. Dhanushkodi had been chosen for housing these facilities, as there was no need for dredging in the area. The work would start in June. The work on providing navigational buoys along the channel route would begin in January 2008.

Mr. Raghupathy said Rameswaram would be the headquarters for the Corporation. The State Government had earmarked land at Dhanushkodi and Mandapam for locating the shore-based facilities, administrative buildings and staff quarters. A feasibility study for building a viewing gallery for tourists at Adam's Bridge had been initiated.