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Thread: Sethusamudram project's got its arithmetic all wrong

  1. Sethusamudram project's got its arithmetic all wrong

    New Delhi: The Sethusamudram Project was originally conceived by a British commander of the Indian Marine, A D Taylor, in 1860. And while he may have been inspired by the Suez Canal at that time, nearly one and a half centuries later, India's decision to revive his abandoned dream project will have very little similarity to the vastly profitable Suez Canal or Panama Canal.

    At least that's what this study done by a group of researchers led by Jacob John and Sudarshan Rodriguez claims.

    "What we find is that the project has based its economic rationale only on distance saved for coastal shipping which is the highest which is 22 hours and the time saved is 22 hours,” said senior research associate Sudarshan Rodriguez from Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment.

    But Rodriguez says for ships coming from Europe and Africa, the time saved is only 30 per cent of what is claimed by the project. From Aden time saved is just 8-12 hours. From Mauritius ships will actually lose time.

    "The tariff for this project is based on the savings from,” said Rodriguez.

    Coastal shipping saying that 50 per cent of time saved will be the tariff charged. So for a vessel which is around 20,000 Dead Weight Tons (DWT) we find that the savings by using the canal will be around $18,000.

    “So ideally tariff then would be $9000. However the savings for a ship coming from Aden is only $4000. So if a ship from Aden is using the canal they are losing $5000,” said Rodriguez.

    This study also found that 70 per cent of shipping traffic in the Indian Ocean are big shipping vessels like oil tankers and bulk carriers. So it becomes next to impossible for them to navigate this narrow channel.

    Captain Balakrishnan, a retired Indian Navy frigate commander who's done a parallel study says that ships would go around Sri Lanka rather than have to go through a canal with draught restrictions and with a need for a pilot to embark and disembark from the ship.

    “LTTE factor is also worrying. As a mariner I wouldn't want my ships to run the risk of piracy,” said Retired Indian Navy Frigate Commander, Captain Balakrishnan.

    Clearly the project seems to have got its arithmetic all wrong. While the Sethusamudram project has now taken the shape of a political pot-boiler, it's the real issues of economics and environment that are being completely compromised.

    “The details of the project are transparent: how was the cost-benefit ratio arrived at, how is the money going to be spent and the RTI should be applied to every paisa spent on this project, then we can judge,” said historian Ramchandra Guha.

    IBN news at Sethusamudram project's got its arithmetic all wrong - Yahoo! India News

  2. #2
    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
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    Re: Sethusamudram project's got its arithmetic all wrong

    Not only the arithmetic and the factors mentioned by Capt Balakrishnan, what happens to the 95% of Thorium deposits in that area when the barrier is removed ? What about Tzunami threat ? To me Ram Sethu has reduced the impact of last Tzunami danger considerably at Kerala coast . Otherwise the dangers at Cape Comerin and Kerala would have been worst.

  3. Re: Sethusamudram project's got its arithmetic all wrong

    i agree with ganpat and colnkurup observation. Without proper data, we should not rush to conclusions.
    Apart from that the cost of maintaining the channel should also be build in to the total life cycle cost of the project.

  4. Re: Sethusamudram project's got its arithmetic all wrong

    Status of Sethu project remains hazy, RTI Act does not help

    Article by Priyanka P. Narain at livemint

    Mumbai: Even as the government is expected this week to ask for more time to file an affidavit on the cultural significance of Adam’s Bridge (Ram Sethu), the exact status of the Sethusamudram project remains unclear.
    The Supreme Court had earlier stayed work on Adam’s Bridge itself, a coral walkway between India and Sri Lanka, but the government had said that work on other parts of the project continued. Hindus believe the bridge was constructed by Ram.

    The government’s secrecy and evasiveness have escalated with growing public interest in the project: the project’s website has not been updated for three months; estimates on the amount of work completed ranges from 25% to 75%; questions filed by former government officials and citizen action groups such as the Coastal Action Network under the Right to Information Act remain unanswered; and the shipping ministry, which is in charge of the project, has not lifted its gag order on all government-owned shipping organizations, port authorities and corporations, so few are willing to share any information.

    Even those who are supposed to know give vague replies. For instance, the general manager of Sethusamudram Corp. Ltd, Srinivas Kannan, says he does not know how much money has been spent or exactly how much work has been completed. “We have not been able to update the project status on our website because of technical difficulty. But I know that we have spent at least Rs360 crore. And then there are bills at Palk Straits that have been raised but have not been settled. But I don’t know what those figures are,” Kannan said.

    The government is to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court by 16 January explaining the cultural significance of Adam’s Bridge.

    It is now expected to ask for more time for the affidavit and the fate of the controversial project is unclear. Even if the government does resolve religious sentiments, it will have to address other issues: continuing financial woes, unanswered questions about economic viability of the project, the loss of livelihood for thousands of fishermen, and the environmental and ecological damage to the marine biosphere in the Gulf of Mannar.

    It is anyone’s guess as to when, if at all, the government will be able to resolve these tangled questions.
    Defeat is not final when you fall down. It is final when you refuse to get up.

  5. #5

    Re: Sethusamudram project's got its arithmetic all wrong

    This project will be a big flop as all calculations are made to benefit not the project but handful of Corporates and Politicians.This project will suck most of tax payers money without giving proper benefits just like Dabhol Power Plant.But it will surely assure huge benefits to Dredging companies.

  6. #6

    Re: Sethusamudram project's got its arithmetic all wrong

    I suggest certain topics like this ,unrelated to RTI per se(even though any topic under the sun can be made to appear related to RTI ),should be closed if not having generated any interest for months.If something afresh comes up and is considered in public interest,post could be revived or started new.


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