No alternative route for Sethu project: Panel
A committee appointed by the Prime Minister to look into the feasibility of the Sethusamudram project on Monday told the Supreme Court that no alternative route other than through the mythological Ram Sethu was possible.
The committee headed by eminent environmentalist R K Pachauri claimed that an alternative route to the east of Dhanushkodi suggested to protect Ram Sethu was not an acceptable option and could rather pose ecological threat.
Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman, who submitted the report before a bench of Justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad, said that the Union Cabinet was yet to take a decision on the report. The court, however, granted the centre 8 weeks time for taking a stand on the report.
“On the basis of the analysis and the importance of observing a risk management approach, both in ecological as well as economic terms, it appears questionable whether Alignment 4A represents an attractive or even an acceptable option. Given the doubt raised by the detailed analysis which has been carried out, it is unlikely that the public interest would be served by pursuing the project on the basis of Alignment 4A,” the report said.
It claimed that the ambitious Rs 2087 crore project could pose a serious threat to the ecology and instead called for further analysis on the feasibility of such a project in a fragile ecological zone.
“The project, including the possibility of adopting Alignment 4A, could potentially result in ecological threats that could pose a risk to the ecosystem in the surrounding area and in particular, to the biosphere reserve,” the report said.
“In other words, for infrastructure to be created in such a fragile ecological zone, a rigorous analysis of possible scenarios related to the impacts of climate change would be critical in decision-making that aims to minimise risk both in economic as well as ecological terms,” the report said
It also claimed that in case of the possibility of oil spill, which cannot be eliminated completely, there would be a serious threat to the biosphere reserve.
Courtesy: Deccan Herald