Sunday, October 5, 2008

Setu project: Centre engages a private firm to examine alternative alignment

Centre examines alternative alignment of SSCP project

Rameswaram, Oct 4 (PTI) The Centre has set in motion the process of examining an alternative alignment of the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel project (SSCP) following the Supreme Court directive, even as a team of engineers has commenced a survey of the area.

A 15-member team of a private firm is engaged in the inspection of the site chosen, to work out an alternative alignment. They are expected to take at least a fortnight to complete the preliminary study and submit a report, revenue and SSCP sources said.

The team commenced the work on September 29. Though a similar study had been undertaken in the same alignment earlier, it was not completed, the sources said.

The team is conducting surveys at Dhanushkodi, Old Railway Station, Kambipadu, Nadupadu, Aatruodai and Arichal Munai to know the nature of soil, and drilling operations will be done to a depth of 70 to 90 metres. The survey report in turn would be studied by the experts before taking a decision on the alternative alignment, they added.

The Centre had already constituted a six-member committee headed by noted environmental expert Rajendra Pachouri, to explore the new alignment.

A meeting of the experts with the SSCP and Dredging Corporation of India officials was also held in August last when it was decided to take up a survey on the new alignment.

A total of six alignments were suggested since the project was conceived. One alignment chosen was stoutly opposed by political parties, including BJP and Shiv Sena, as it cut through the Ramar Sethu, popularly known as Adams bridge. PTI\ptisite.nsf/0/506279E063E9A61E652574D90026ED94?OpenDocument

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