KERALA

‘Sethu Samudram canal will affect Kerala coast’

Staff Reporter

PALAKKAD: Speakers at a memorial lecture at Puthucode, near here, on Sunday opposed the move to construct the Sethu Samudram canal, as, they said, it will affect the very survival of the Kerala coast.

The topic of the third Justice P.R. Sundaram Iyer memorial lecture, organised by the Centre for Sanskrit and Vedic Studies and the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, was “Sanskrit and effects of the Sethu Samudram project on the Kerala coast.”

Delivering the presidential address, N. Gopalakrishnan, Director of the Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage, Thiruvanathapuram, said: “[T]he Ramar bridge in the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka is manmade and this great tradition of India has to be preserved. Once it is destroyed, it cannot be recreated.”

Dr. Gopalakrishnan said space images taken by NASA revealed a mysterious ancient bridge in the Palk Straits. The recently discovered bridge, currently named Adam’s Bridge, was made of a chain of shoals. The bridge’s unique curvature and composition revealed that it was manmade.

In his keynote address, P.A. Ramakrishnan, Executive Vice- Chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Puthucode Kendra, said it had been found from experience that nature had created this bund (Ramar bridge) for the protection of the Kerala coast. It had saved Kerala for thousands of years and also during the December 2004 tsunami. The speakers at a history session on “Importance of Ramar Sethu” held as part of the programme were S. Kalyanaraman, Director, Saraswathi Sindhu Research Centre, Chennai, and V. Sundaram, former Chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust.

The Sanskrit session was addressed by N.K. Sundareswaran, Sanskrit Scholar; N. Nandakumar, Sanskrit scholar and organising secretary, all-India Samskrita Bharathi; and Francois Gautier, Editor-in-Chief, La Revue de I’Inde, New Delhi.