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    Pressnote23aug Pressnote23aug Presentation Transcript

    • Executive Summary Press note (August 23, 2007) Rama Setu Protection Forum If Rama Setu is damaged… Livelihood of coastal people in Bharatam and Srilanka will be devastated. Geo-thermally, geo-tectonically fragile eco-environment and 3,600 aquatic species will be desiccated. What the scientists say: [quote] ·Tectonic movements along the active fault zones bringing about subsidence and submergence of areas. ·Such subsidence will bring in inundations and flooding as well as collapse of structures ·In some cases such subsidence may cause submarine landslides which in turn will lead to changes in ocean currents and mini-tsunamis besides blocking ocean passages. ·Triggering of the movements of already active faults both vertically and in a strike-slip fashion may induce earthquakes and earth tremors, which in turn may cause damages to structures, causing submarine land slides and other concomitant disruptions. ·Inducing movements along this fragile zone of high heat flow will bring in excessive heat to the surface, thus changing current movements, the lives of biota as well as higher corrosive and erosive effects of the hot waters into the walls of the canal and bringing out land-slides and blocking the passage of sea, etc. [unquote] An international waters boundary will be in place preventing the coastal people from using the aquatic resources of the historic waters. When tsunami or cyclone strike, Rama Setu acted as a protective barrier. If Rama Setu is desiccated, the coastline of southern bharatam including Kerala coast will be destroyed, destroying property, ports, and also thorium/titanium wealth in monazite and ilmenite sands. If thorium placer deposits are lost, energy independence for the nation will be lost. The Gulf of Mannar/Palk bay waters will be internationalized with US and other naval ships having right of passage and Bharatam reduced to a coast guard for shipping lanes of petroleum products going from the Persian Gulf to west coast of America. Rama Setu is the most ancient monument symbolizing Bharatiya culture. This world heritage should be protected. Swarajyam Bharatam should not behave like Taliban destroying this heritage which should like Tirupati be declared as a divyakshetram. Rama Setu rakshaa is our deekshaa. Protecting Rama Setu is our resolve. Next phase of nationwide satsang and tirthayatras Lakhs would converge at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu on August 26 under the ‘Chalo Rameswaram’ programme to offer mass poojas at setutirtham (sacred waters) On August 28 a ‘Ramasetu Raksha Bandhan’ would be observed. Weeklong Krishnashtami celebrations from September 4 will be village-level campaigns to protect Rama setu. From September 27 to October 10 Dharmacharyas, sadhus and sants and their disciples will participate in the movement. Hanuman Chalisa recitations from October 12 to 24, mass demonstration on October 25 and Shila Yatras from November 20 to December 20 will be held. The petition which was signed by 35 lakh people and submitted to the former President will be supplemented by a demand for declaration of Rama Setu as Divyakshetram and ‘underwater world heritage site’. We hope Govt. of India and Govt. of Tamilnadu will respect the sentiments of millions of people and not behave like the Taliban demolishing the Buddha of Bamiyan calling it a mere stone. Rama Setu is not mere sand, it is a divyakshetram, revered for generations. It is world heritage which should be protected. The Madras High Court noted in their judgement of 19 June 2007 that under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1958, the Rama Setu should be deemed to be a monument of national importance. We hope that governments will respect this sage advice of the judiciary and declare Rama Setu as divyakshetram which is the government’s responsibility to protect and cherish for present and future generations remembering the adarsha purusha, Sri Rama, who is called Vigrahavan dharmah by Valmiki, that is the very embodiment of the values embodied in dharma which is the guiding principle of the nation. 1 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Detailed note Information received in good faith is that naval hqs was requested by Setusamudram channel project authorities to provide naval divers and that blasting will be undertaken in the project area. The environmental impact of project activity in a geo-thermally, geo-tectonically active zone has NOT been analysed in consultation with Geological Survey of India. The heatflow map of GSI shows that the zone is as hot as the Himalayan zone with a number of thermal wells along the southern coast and has mannar volcanics. Whether these heat zones will be activated should be subjected to detailed studies. The map is attached. A categorical undertaking was given by the former Chairman of Sethusamudram Project that BLASTING will NOT be used. Here is the report of the press conference held with Min. for Science and Technology, Sibal. NEERI report categorically states that no blasting should be done. Issues related to blasting in the Setu channel project Madras HC order of 19 June 2007: quot;We are not inclined to grant any interim relief at this stage, as it would hamper the further work in the project. However, we leave it to the Union of India to decide whether the actual cutting of Adam's Bridge/Rama Sethu could be postponed till the issues involved in these petitions are considered by this Court.quot; Now, the case has been transferred to the Supreme Court and hearing is scheduled on August 31, 2007. A categorical undertaking was given by the former Chairman of Sethusamudram Project that BLASTING will NOT be used. Here is the report of the press conference held with Min. for Science and Technology, Sibal. Sethu samples for independent tests New Delhi, Jun 2: Centre today made an open offer to provide rock and soil samples from the Adam's Bridge region of the controversial Sethusamdram project for carrying out scientific tests. quot;There is an open offer. We will provide samples collected from the area to persons wanting to carry out tests independently,quot; Minister of Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal told reporters. Sibal said the present alignment of the Sethusamudram project has been arrived at after detailed scientific and environmental tests. quot;The present alignment is the best we can have,quot; he said. 2 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Sibal said utmost care has been taken to in the planning and execution of the project to ensure the least impact on the coasts of India and Sri Lanka. quot;The Sethusamudram Ship Channel is located at a distance of more than 20 Km from Shingle Island of Gulf of Mannar near Dhanuskodi,quot; N K Raghupathy, Chairman and Managing Director of Sethusamudram Corporation Limited said making a presentation on the project here. The total length of the channel is 167 km, 12m deep and 300 meters wide at the bottom. Raghupathy, who also heads the Tuticorin Port Trust, said the project managers will not use blasting technology for dredging activity along the entire length of the project. He said there will be a restriction on the size of ships passing through the channel. (Agencies) http://www.chennaionline.com/colnews/newsitem.asp?NEWSID=%7B538DFCAA- C6BB-4C4E-B52B-4D7274791201%7D&CATEGORYNAME=TAMNA Sethusamudram project is based on scientific studies: Sibal From our ANI Correspondent New Delhi, June 2: Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said here today that the Sethusamundram Ship Canal Project (SSCP) across Palk Bay got its final nod only after careful scientific studies. The project was cleared only after taking into consideration the facts received from the bio-diversity and the fragile eco-system of the area falling between Palk Bay and the Palk Strait, Sibal told reporters here. He added that the Indo-Lankan Maritime interests between Point Calliner and Jaffna were taken into account before giving the final nod for the project. The Centre has no intention of hurting the sentiments of any community, Sibal said. On May 16, the Lok Sabha was adjourned after Bharatiya Janata Party MPs raised a furore over the construction of the project. BJP MPs and the Vishva Hindu Parishad are demanding that project must be scrapped, as it would destroy the mythological bridge built by Lord Rama of Ayodhya. The Sethusamundram proposes the linking of the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka by creating a shipping canal through the shallow sea. This would provide a continuous navigable sea route around the Indian Peninsula. The project involves digging a 44.9 nautical mile (83 km) long deepwater channel linking the shallow water of the Palk Strait with the Gulf of Mannar. Conceived as early as 1860 by Alfred Dundas Taylor, it recently received approval of the 3 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Government of India. http://www.dailyindia.com/show/146256.php/Sethusamudram-project-is-based-on- scientific-studies:-Sibal Protection of cultural heritage as human right The Declaration UNESCO Universal declaration on cultural diversity (2001), emphasizes cultural rights and the role of culture in development, reaffirmed in Article 5 quot;Cultural rights as an enabling environment for cultural diversityquot;: quot;Cultural rights are an integral part of human rights, which are universal, indivisible and inter-dependent. The flourishing of creative diversity requires the full implementation of cultural rights as defined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in Articles 13 and 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. All persons have therefore the right to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue; all persons are entitled to quality education and training that fully respect their cultural identity; and all persons have the right to participate in the cultural life of their choice and conduct their own cultural practices, subject to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.quot; http://tinyurl.com/2f937m Rama’s hotspot Information received in good faith is that naval hqs was requested by authorities to provide naval divers and that blasting will be undertaken in the project area. The environmental impact of project activity in a geo-thermally, geo-tectonically active zone has NOT been analysed in consultation with Geological Survey of India. The heatflow map of GSI shows that the zone is as hot as the Himalayan zone with a number of thermal wells along the southern coast and has mannar volcanics. Whether these heat zones will be activated should be subjected to detailed studies. The map is attached. The following monograph by three scientists explains the serious consequences of any activity in Rama Setu area which is likely to adversely impact the fragile geo- environment with trigger the faults and thermal pockets, resulting in incalculable damages to the coastline and marine life. [quote] Tectonic movements along the active fault zones bringing about subsidence and submergence of areas. Such subsidence will bring in inundations and flooding as well as collapse of structures In some cases such subsidence may cause submarine landslides which in turn will lead to changes in ocean currents and mini-tsunamis besides blocking ocean passages. 4 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Triggering of the movements of already active faults both vertically and in a strike-slip fashion may induce earthquakes and earth tremors, which in turn may cause damages to structures, causing submarine land slides and other concomitant disruptions. Inducing movements along this fragile zone of high heat flow will bring in excessive heat to the surface, thus changing current movements, the lives of biota as well as higher corrosive and erosive effects of the hot waters into the walls of the canal and bringing out land-slides and blocking the passage of sea, etc. [unquote] The scientists call it: Rama's hotspot. http://tinyurl.com/25c7xc Rama Setu: Geological and geo-tectonic perspectives Sethu Samudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) is gaining importance recently amongst the public, the media and the scientists because of multifarious factors. In the feasibility studies for any major engineering project, it is very essential to look into the geo-technical aspects, besides the engineering and financial ones. The geo- technical evaluation will normally cover the geological , structural, and geo-tectonic features including seismo- tectonic signatures as well as the geo-physical inputs from the various branches . The synthesis and analysis of these geo-scientific data are pre-requisites for making proper geo-technical advice in a suitable manner for the execution of the projects. Actually, Geo-technical Evaluation Report is a pre-requisite for clearing any major engineering project. Such an exercise might have been done for this project also. Normally, Geological Survey of India (GSI), the premier geo- scientific organization in the country, is entrusted with this task of preparation of the GEOTECHNICAL REPORT. GSI has the requisite expertise, man power, equipments, ocean going research vessels, air craft for aerial surveys for research etc, to carry out comprehensive studies on geology, geophysics, drilling, laboratory analyses, geo-tectonics including seismo-tectonics as well as geo-technical, geo-thermal and geo-environmental aspects. Actually these studies are the CHARTED FUNCTIOS OF GSI WHICH ARE GAZETTED. However available GSI sources indicate that GSI was not involved in the geo-technical evaluation of SSCP. An attempt is made in the paper on this webpage, by a group of geo -scientists retired from GSI to evaluate the regional Geological and Geo-tectonic Settings of the Palk- Bay (PB) – Gulf of Mannar (GM) area between India and Sri Lanka and its relevance to SSCP. The present analysis is made with limited geo-scientific data available with these retired personnel. There may still be a wealth of data available with various geo-scientific organizations which may have to be taken into account for a better understanding of the points raised in this paper as well as to refine the suggestions accordingly. Exec. Summary: Geological setting in Palk Bay – Gulf of Mannar and relevance to Sethu Samudram Canal project http://tinyurl.com/3683b7 (Also available for download from http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/geologypalkbaymainpoints/ ) Geological and geo- tectonic settings of Palk Bay – Gulf of Mannar area between India and Sri Lanka – their relevance to Sethu Samudram Canal Project by K. 5 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Gopalakrishnan, S. Badrinarayanan and KS Subramanian, Directors (Retd.), Geological Survey of India, 6 August 2007 http://tinyurl.com/2ollr7 (Also available for download from http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/geologicalsettingpalkbay/ ) The following 6 sets of pdf documents contain 28 figures referred to in the monograph. http://tinyurl.com/2wk8og http://tinyurl.com/3y5apq http://tinyurl.com/32g33b http://tinyurl.com/2qw8cm http://tinyurl.com/32ry5w http://tinyurl.com/3dsp5s Also available for download from: http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/figuresset1/ http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/figuresset2/ http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/figuresset3/ http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/figuresset4/ http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/figuresset5/ http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/figuresset6/ Rama Setu as divyakshetram (sacred pilgrimage) Rama Setu is a sacred pilgrimage place for millions of Hindu worldwide. Setubandha Rameshwaram is referred to as dakshina kashi (southern Benares) and is a revered place remembering the divine Shri Rama, where millions of people take a sacred dip in the Indian ocean just as pilgrims take a dip in the sacred Ganga. Sentiments of millions of Hindu There are pilgrimage sites also on Srilanka side of Talaimannar end of the bridge called Mahatittha (great sacred bathing place) and temple of Shiva called Tiruketheeshwaram (just as there is a Shiva temple in a temple called Rameshwaram). The sacred texts of the Hindu mention that three shiva temples were installed by Shri Rama who is venerated as a divinity and who is referred to as the embodiment of Dharma. Any attempt to desiccate a physical structure built under the orders of Shri Rama should not be desiccated because it hurts the sentiments of millions of Hindu who offer pitru tarpanam at this teertha (homage to ancestors to seek their blessings). Evidences for ancient Geological feature and ancient physical structure called Setu Unlike the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, this geological feature linking India and Srilanka and physical structure on top of it, just on the sea level called Setu, have always been referred to as a bridge. Scientific evidences for geological feature of Rama Setu 6 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • A report by two geologists, Vestal and Lowrie notes: Two suites of slumps from opposite margins of the Gulf of Mannar, between Sri Lanka and southern India, have met and coalesced. The “Eastern Comorin” Slump is the more coherent of the two with a length of 70 to 100 km. The “Colombo” side slump consists of two to four blocks 15 to 35 km in length. Both slump-suites decrease to the south. A paleoslump underlies the western toe of the East Comorin Slump at a depth of some 800 meters. To the south, an enlarging and deepening submarine canyon marks the area of slump coalescence. See William Vestal and Allen Lowrie, Geology and Geophysics Branch-Code 7220, U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office NSTL Station, 39522, MS http://www.springerlink.com /content/m602j3k746342lnl/ • India is also a party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1958) which enjoins on the Government the responsibility to prevent migrations of aquatic species from one habitat to another or adversely affecting the aquatic habitat. By creating a mid-ocean channel passage without provision of locks on either side of the channel, the serene habitat of the Gulf of Mannar is likely to be adversely disturbed by the turbulent waters of the Bay of Bengal which is prone to recurrent cyclones and tectonic (earthquake) events. Rama Setu region is also Zone 2 on the Heat Flow map of India prepared by Geological Survey of India, as intense in geothermal energy as the sub-himalayan ranges. There are evidences of Mannar volcanics in the region and thermal wells along the southern coastline close to Rama Setu. Any dredging activity in such a fragile ecological zone with the only South Asian Marine Bioreserve and 24 marine national parks may activate the faultlines and such heat zones exposing the coastline to devastation. This aspect was not studied before embarking on the channel project, nor were the impacts of cyclones and tsunami (which occurred on Dec. 26, 2004 which killed over 200,000 people) evaluated before embarking on the channel project. Geological Survey of India which is mandated to undertake such multi-disciplinary geo-tectonic, oceanographic studies, was NOT consulted by the project authorities. Scientific, archaeological evidences for physical structure of the land-bridge linking India and Srilanka The Survey of India Logo since 1767 proclaims: aasetu himachalam (meaning: from Setu to Himalaya, representing the nation’s boundary). A 1747 Netherlands map clearly showed ‘Ramarcoil’ (Rama’s temple) and a 1788 map of Survey of India showed ‘Ramarpalam’ (later named Adam’s bridge). An epigraph of Krishnadevaraya of 15th century refers to Rama Setu. Al-Biruni refers to Setu in 11th century. A book by Alexander Hamilton, 1744, A New Account of the East Indies: Giving an Exact and Copious Description of the Situation, P. 338 describes his visit to ‘zeloan’ (alt. spelling for Ceylon) by walking on the bridge. 1893 Madras Presidency Manual: Glossary entry: Adam. …”Called the bridge of Rama… It really joined Ceylon to India until 1480, when a breach was made through rocks during a storm. A subsequent storm enlarged this and foot traffic then ceased…Partly above and partly below water; but when covered has now here above three or four feet of water…” 7 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Asiatic Society, 1799, Asiatick Researches: Or, Transactions of the Society Instituted in Bengal, P. 52 refers to the bridge called Setband (alt. spelling, setuband like Allahband; setu-bandha), broken in 3 places. It also notes “The people call it a bridge; or otherwise it appears to have wood growing on it, and to be inhabited.” So does the Ramanathapuram District Gazetteer of 1972 with preface by M. Karunanidhi then Chief Minister of Tamilnadu refer extensively to Rama Setu. The coastline with 24 marine national parks is the habitat of s’ankha which is an 8500 year-old continuing industry. Department of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, in a report of March 2007 given to the President of India noted: Since the calcareous sand stones and Corals are less dense than normal hard rock and quite compact, probably these were used by the ancients to form a connecting link to Sri Lanka, on the higher elevations of the Adams bridge ridge and this is analogous to modern day causeway. • Around Rameswaram, there are raised Teri formations that supported a rich assemblage of mesolithic – microlithic tools indicating the presence of strong human habitation and activity in these areas as early as 8000 to 9000 years B.P and as recent as 4000 years B.P. On Sri Lanka side there are indications of human habitation extending to late Pleistocene (about 13,000 B.P) based on bone and fossils of human and animal form. • All these point to a flourishing human activity on both sides of Adams Bridge and probably when the sea levels were just right the link between India and Sri Lanka could have been established. Called Rama Setu from ancient times in ancient texts of Sangam literature like Akanaanooru, Puranaanooru, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas and Setubandha kavya in Prakrit by King Damodarasena of 5th century, copper plate inscription of Parantaka Chola of 10th century and later renamed as Adam’s Bridge by the British surveyor general, James Rennel in 1804 in a Map of Hindoostan and Mughal Empire. Scores of maps produced by Prof. Schwarzberg of University of Chicago in South Asia Historical Atlas clearly show the Rama Setu as Setuka, Setubandha, Setubandha Rameshwaram. Thousands of ancient coins of the 10th century have also been discovered in Srilanka with the words ‘Setu’ and ‘Setupati’ inscribed. Setu means a bund (an English word that is derived from the word bandha used in many Indian languages). Setupati is the title given to rulers of the Rameshwaram region whose responsibility was to protect the land-bridge and the sacred tirtham (pilgrimage). That Rama Setu was used as a land-bridge upto 1799 are clearly evidenced in travelogues, Madras Presidency gazetteer of 1893 and in temple epigraphs. Cyclones and tsunami-s are frequent occurrences in the region because of active earth faults (called plate tectonics). Due to such cyclones in 1948 and 1964, Dhanushkodi which is the starting edge of the bridge on Indian side was submerged in about 10 feet of water because of incursion of the sea and rise of the sea level. Mid-ocean channel or land-based canal? Geopolitical implications 8 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • A land-based canal will be close to Indian coastal boundary and fully under the control of India. This will prevent the internationalization of the waterway for small ships. Alternative routes have been recommended by five Government committees which will create land-based canals like the Suez or Panama canals. For extraneous reasons, possibly under pressure from USA which does not recognize the agreement between India and Srilanka declaring these waters as ‘historic waters’ (that is with historic rights of the people of the two nations to freely use the natural resources of the waters). There was an agreement between Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi and President of Srilanka Sirimavo Bandaranaike in June 1974, reiterating this ‘historic waters’ declaration recognized under the UN Law of the Sea (1958). To assert the geopolitical claim of USA, naval ships were dispatched by USA into these waters repeatedly in 1994, 1999, 2000 claiming that these are ‘international waters’. Choice of a mid-ocean channel passage as an alignment seems to have been dicatated by this assertion of USA creating an international waters boundary in the waters where such a boundary never existed. Creation of such a boundary impacts on the lives of the coastal people of both India and Srilanka. 34 Srilankan experts have also expressed their concerns on impact on water resources in Jaffna if the channel project is implemented. Coastal people of India have also expressed their apprehensions since they will be prevented from accessing the aquatic resources on the Srilankan side of this boundary. Security of the national boundary in historic waters The choice of a mid-ocean channel passage was specifically recommended to be abandoned by the first committee set up, after independence, in 1956 to review the feasibility of the project and setting up of a port at Tuticorin. This committee led by Sir A Ramaswamy Mudaliar categorically stated that in such a mid-ocean channel passage cutting through Rama Setu (Adam’s bridge)— *it will be virtually impossible to control the continuing incursion of sandbanks, eroding the channel *it will be impossible to provide for protective structures (such as lining of both embankments and provision of locks) in the mid-ocean *an international boundary will be created if the channel is close to the medial line between India and Srilanka internationalizing these waters. These cautionary notes were respected all four subsequent canal alignments considered since 1956. In 2004, a surprise mid-ocean channel passage was delineated ignoring these recommendations. Imperative of protective measures against future cyclones/tsunamis Tsunami experts like Dr. Tad Murty have opined that the channel alignment directly pointed towards the path of tsunami in the Bay of Bengal, will create a funnel effect (quarterwave resonance amplification) absorbing the energy of the next tsunami or cyclones destroying the southern coastline and coastline of Kerala. This opinion is 9 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • based on the experience of the Alaska tsunami of 1964 which devastated the Alberni port in Alberni canal in Canada where the waves attained their highest amplitude. Any devastation in the coastline of south India will have serious implications for the thorium and titanium reserves found in abundance in the region. If these reserves which are accumulating as placer deposits because of unique patterns of ocean currents and the presence of an effective tsunami barrier like Rama Setu are lost into the mid-ocean, the reserves cannot be exploited in a cost-effective manner to meet the strategic needs of India’s atomic energy and space industries. Both thorium and titanium are strategic minerals of the nation. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, a space scientists, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre scientists, atomic scientists like Dr. Baldev Raj have noted that thorium is the mainstay of the nation’s atomic energy program to provide for energy independence. The 3,60,000 tonnes reserve of thorium will meet the energy requirements of the nation for the next four centures. The implications of cutting a mid-ocean channel passage through a protective structure which is likely to have such devastating impact on the nation’s wealth should be carefully evaluation by a multi-disciplinary team of experts. Imperative of safeguarding and conserving strategic mineral sands (monazite, ilmenite, rutile) There is a remarkable accumulation of marine sands of monazite, ilmenite and rutile as placer deposits along principally the southern coastline of India at Manavalakurichi (Tamilnadu), Aluva, Chavara (Kerala) and Chatrapur (Orissa). Importance of Thorium for Bharat • From BARC website: Thorium deposits of Bharatam- ~ 3,60,000 tonnes • The currently known Indian thorium reserves amount to 358,000 GWe-yr of electrical energy and can easily meet the energy requirements during the next century and beyond. (Thorium reserves can generate 400,000 MW electricity per year for the next 389 years). At present, we produce only 100,000 MW electricity per year. • India 's vast thorium deposits permit design and operation of U-233 fuelled breeder reactors. • These U-233/Th-232 based breeder reactors are under development and would serve as the mainstay of the final thorium utilization stage of the Indian nuclear programme. http://www.barc.ernet.in/webpages/about/anu1.htm Uneconomical channel By realigning the channel as a land-based canal, about 30 nautical miles can be reduced for navigation and also saving in project costs of about Rs. 500 crores. The economic viability of the project has also been questioned by economists and infrastructure experts. According to Capt. Balakrishnan who commanded the frigate 10 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • INS Trishul said that the saving in time for small ships which alone can go through the proposed channel passage between Kolkata and Tuticorin will be only 1 hour and 45 minutes. Such a small saving in time will not justify payment of pilotage charges for the vessels to be piloted at 6 knots per hour through the 154 kms. long channel. Ships larger than 30,000 Dead Weight Tonnes (DWT) will continue to go around Srilanka. In Suez canal which is a land-based canal, arrangements have been made to salvage ships in case they get grounded because of turbulent waves which toss the ships. Bollards are placed every 20 feet and wire ropes will be used to salvage a grounded ship. Such an arrangement will be impossible in a mid-ocean channel which will render salvage operations a very costly enterprise endangering the very viability of the project. Historic waters agreement of 1974 • In June 1974, an agreement was signed between PM of India, Indira Gandhi and President of Srilanka, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, reiterating the declaration of Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay waters as ‘historic waters’ under the UN Law of the Sea 1958. United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1958), Convention of the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone recognizes HISTORIC Waters US has refused to recognize the declaration of ‘historic waters’; USA claims these to be international waters. 1. US Navy operational directive, was issued on 23 June 2005 reiterating their stand; 2. Chairman TCPT replies to PMO 30 June 2005 ; 3. Inauguration of SSCP 2 July 2005. U.S. conducted operational assertions in 1993 and 1994, 1999 in Gulf of Mannar. (jiska laat uski bhains or tadi eduttavan tandal kaaran) Aug 76 Act No. 80 Enables government to declare waters as historic. Jun 79 Law No. 41. The choice of the channel alignment along the medial line virtually creates an international waters boundary and indicates that India has succumbed to US pressure tactics, apart from the fact that US has naval bases in Diego Garcia and Straits of Malacca, and very-low-frequency listening posts in Trincomalee thus drawing these waters into the vortex of international geopolitics together with the LTTE activities in the region and LTTE control of Pulmoddai monazite placer deposits close to Trincomalee. So, the question to be asked is: who benefits from the proposed channel? U. Arulanandam, President, Singaravelar Fishermen's Forum : the project is being implemented to enforce the international boundary line in the waters. http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2201/stories/20050114005902400.htm Awareness campaigns and movement to declare Rama Setu as divyakshetram Ramayana in which the building of the setu is described in a separate section in 85 verses is revered in many countries of the world. In Indonesia, in Prambanan 11 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • (Brahmavana) temple, the entire episode of building the setu by Nala is depicted in many sculpture panels of the 10th century. The demand of the Ram Setu Raksha Manch (Rama Setu Protection Forum) is to declare the setu as divyakshetram (sacred monument) just as Tirupati hills were declared as divyakshetram recently. Government of India should declare it as a monument of national importance and world heritage in terms of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and UNESCO Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention to which India is a signatory. The Rameswaram Ramasetu Protection Movement has announced an action plan to save the holy bridge, the divyakshetram -- Ramasetu not only in view of its importance as a underwater heritage structure purported to have been built by the legendary hero of Ramayana but also for of its importance from marine archaeology and strategic national security points of view. Next phase of nationwide satsang and tirthayatras Lakhs would converge at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu on August 26 under the ‘Chalo Rameswaram’ programme to offer mass poojas at setutirtham (sacred waters of On August 28 a ‘Ramasetu Raksha Bandhan’ would be observed. Weeklong Krishnashtami celebrations from September 4 will be village-level campaigns to protect Rama setu. From September 27 to October 10 Dharmacharyas, sadhus and sants and their disciples will participate in the movement. Hanuman Chalisa recitations from October 12 to 24, mass demonstration on October 25 and Shila Yatras from November 20 to December 20 will be held. The petition which was signed by 35 lakh people and submitted to the former President will be supplemented by a demand for declaration of Rama Setu as Divyakshetram and ‘underwater world heritage site’. We hope Govt. of India and Govt. of Tamilnadu will respect the sentiments of millions of people and not behave like the Taliban demolishing the Buddha of Bamiyan calling it a mere stone. Rama Setu is not mere sand, it is a divyakshetram, revered for generations. It is world heritage which should be protected. The Madras High Court noted in their judgement of 19 June 2007 that under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1958, the Rama Setu should be deemed to be a monument of national importance. We hope that governments will respect this sage advice of the judiciary and declare Rama Setu as divyakshetram which is the government’s responsibility to protect and cherish for present and future generations remembering the adarsha purusha, Sri Rama, who is called Vigrahavan dharmah by Valmiki, that is the very embodiment of the values embodied in dharma which is the guiding principle of the nation. Here are some links with a lot of info.and frequent updates (please do visit and re- visit the websites periodically): Powerpoint presentation slides: http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/ramasetu20- july2007/ 12 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • http://kalyan97.wordpress.com http://hinduthought.googlepages.com http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97 (41 files for download as of 17 Aug. 2007) Madras HC order (11 pages): http://tinyurl.com/28umzq Rama Setu: 315 page e-book (5.2mb) The book presents multiple facets of the Setu Samudram Channel Project and evidences for Rama Setu as a monument of international importance. http://www.slideshare.net/kalyan97/ramasetu/ please right click this link and save the link or save the target in your desktop : http://blip.tv/file/get/Prpoint- AdamsBridgeAlsoKnownAsRamarBridgeAnAncientIndianHerita981.wmv (14.5 mb) To view / listen to the PodMagazine, Please click the following link http://poduniversal.blogspot.com/2007/05/adams-bridge-also-known-as-ramar- bridge.html Beyond Dhanushkodi (now submerged after the 1948, 1964 incursion of the sea) and linking Talaimannar over a distance of 35 kms. and width of 3 to 5 kms. is Rama Setu. 13 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Pamban gap and cantilever railway bridge linking Mandapam and Rameswaram Dhanushkodi 15 kms. long sand banks Why is the longest alignment chosen? An alignment through Dhanushkodi will be shorter by 36 nautical miles and save an extra 6 hours of navigation time and will respect Sir A Ramaswamy Mudaliar recommendations that a channel passage through Rama Setu should be ABANDONED. Channel passage along alignment 6 and indicative dumping sites close to the medial line creating an international waters boundary. 14 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • 15 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Heatflow in Rama Setu 100 to 180 milliwatt per sq. m. comparable to Himalayan hotsprings Will dredging in the area activate these heat zones? This question has to be answered by a multi-disciplinary team. 16 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • UNDP document (July 2000) with relevant info. related to undertakings by Govt. of India and Govt. of Tamilnadu is attached. The Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve (GOMMBR) has been notified in 1989 through an executive communication from the Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests to the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu. http://sethusamudram.gov.in/EIA.asp See also: http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/hpg/envis/sdev/bios.htm The term 'Biosphere Reserve' should denote an area: • which is, set aside for the conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the relationship between man and the environment; • which is, to serve as sites for long term scientific research as well as education all over the world. The programme of Biosphere Reserve was initiated under the 'Man & Biosphere' (MAB) programme by UNESCO in 1971. Critique at: http://www.tngreenmovement.org/mannarnote.html http://www.ejustice.lk/article-Sethusamudram-%20Who%20stand%20for.htm http://www.fao.org/docrep/X5627E/x5627e06.htm Gulf of Mannar is the first marine biosphere reserve (GOMBR) declared in India and in south and Southeast Asia . It is located in the southeastern side of Tamilnadu extending from Rameswaram in the North to Kanyakumari in the south. It has an area of 10,500 Sq.km with the core area covering 560 km (Rameshwarm to Tuticorin), which is also maintained as Gulf of Mannar National Park (GOMNP). Due to its extensive biological wealth, it was declared as a Marine National Park in 1986 and a Biosphere Reserve in 1989. The GOMBR encompasses 21 islands and are uninhabited ranging in size from 0.25 ha to 130 ha, spreading along the coast for 170 km with the closest being 500 m and the farthest over 4 km from shore. The GOMBR falls within the Indo-Malayan realm, which is the world's richest marine biodiversity region. GOMBR harbours wide ranging marine resources such as marine algae, corals, echinoderms, mollusks, sponges, polychaetes, fishes and marine mammals. At present 120 species of corals, under 33 genera have been recorded from GOMBR. The IUCN commission on National Parks and Protected Areas, with the assistance of UNEP, UNESCO and WWF, identified the reserve as being an area of quot;particular concernquot; given its diversity and special multiple-use management status. Due to human interferences, the GOMBR marine products have been over exploited leading to drastic loss of marine natural products and biodiversity. Thus the Govt. of Tamilnadu has formulated a project with the assistance of Govt. of India and Global Environmental Facility (GEF) at a cost of around Rs.140 crores on quot;conservation and sustainable use of Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve's coastal Biodiversityquot; for a period of 7 years starting from 2002. The statutory Trust by name Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust was formed under the project to ensure the Govt. departments, Research Institutions, local communities and NGOs work together for integrating biodiversity conservation and ensuring livelihood security for the people of the region. As NIOT is developing coastal and ocean based technologies with particular emphasis on islands, it is also planned to extend the scientific activities in the GOMBR. Already, under the Ocean Science and Technology for Islands (OSTI) 17 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • programme, about six Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) surveys have been conducted off Tuticorin area for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant to be demonstrated at off Tuticorin in Gulf of Mannar . In these cruises large amount of data has been collected. Recently two cruises with Coastal Research Vessel Sagar Purvi (during 24-31st May 2003 and 16 -18th September 2003) were conducted to study various physicochemical and biological parameters around the islands. Further surveys are planned for all around the 21 islands. The two short terms cruises restricted only near the Tuticorin group of islands and aimed at developing a database about the islands of Gulf of Mannar . The objectives of OSTI programme in Gulf of Mannar includes • Understanding the changes in physical and chemical oceanographic parameters along with weather conditions prevailing in the area. • Studies on the transport of nutrients, heavy metal, suspended sediments and other solid particles through coastal currents around the islands. • Development of a database for oceanographic parameters and model the ecosystem using various computer tools. • Studies on the larval stages of lobster phyllosoma, and puerulus in the coastal water and around the islands. • Make a detailed survey to explore the possibility of sea ranching of lobster phyllosoma larvae. • Conduct biodiversity survey in order to enhance the living marine resources in and around the islands. http://www.niot.res.in/m5/mbic/osti/research/project6c.htm Setusamudram Channel Project should become Setusamudram land-based Canal Project (like the Suez or Panama canals) without impacting on or damaging Rama Setu which is a World Heritage monument. The channel passage is an extraordinary, experimental venture the like of which does not exist anywhere else in the world. Both Suez and Panama canals are land-based canals which have enabled adequate protective measures being built in the canals and to enhance navigation safety. Plea for Advocate Commission An Advocate-Commission should be constituted to resolve the contention made by the project authorities (including the Minister for Shipping) denying the very existence of Rama Setu (also called Adam’s Bridge). In view of the failure of the Government to declare this as a World Heritage site, an injunction should be issued that no damage should be caused to Rama Setu until the petitions are disposed of by the court. Risk of damage to an ancient monument of national importance Blasting is provided in the Palk Bay area. There are reports that blasting may be resorted to in Adam’s Bridge area which is NOT authorized in the EIA report and will be violative of the responsibilities to protect the Marine Bioreserve and National Marine Parks in the area. An undertaking should be given by the Project authorities that no damage will be done to the Rama Setu until the issues are deliberated and the contentions of the petitions judged. 18 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Land-based Canal (like Panama or Suez) versus channel passage cut through Rama Setu NEERI introduced a new alignment which changed the entire nature of the project. Failure to review the project after the tsunami of December 2004 EIA Report and Techno-economic feasibility reports are dated August 2004. On December 26, 2004 a devastating tsunami struck the region. The tsunami killed over 2,60,000 people and caused damage to the coastline of India and the lives of many people in coastal villages and harbours (e.g., Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Kollam). The tsunami changed the bathymetry (sea-depth) of the region and the nature of the region which is essentially a sedimentation sink. In some places, the sea-bed had risen by as much as 300 metres. Such a sea-change should have resulted in a complete review of the project and redesign. Such a review was NOT done. Surprisingly, the questions raised by Prime Minister’s Office in March 2005 about the impact of the tsunami were dealt with in a peremptory manner instead of referring the entire issue to NEERI for re-evaluation and re-write of their Environment Impact Analysis Report. Ecological concerns of Srilanka The report by 34 experts of Srilanka submitted to the Srilankan Cabinet in May 2007 brings out serious concerns on the ecological disaster that the project will cause in Sri Lanka. In particular, there is a reference to the impact on drinking water resources of both Jaffna and Rameswaram due to the damages by dredging or blasting, to ground-water caves and limestone layers in the bridge area. This means that Sri Lanka may take the matter to the International Court of Justice to safeguard their interests under the Historic Waters Agreement). Availability of alternative alignments which will NOT damage Rama Setu What has been considered as a canal (comparable to Suez or Panama as land-based and hence, controllable canal) since AL Mudaliar Committee Report of 1956, has been transformed by NEERI in 2004 into a passage in the mid-ocean, cutting across the Adam's Bridge. All the previous 5 alignments reviewed in detail DID NOT cut across the Adam's Bridge. NEERI has failed to take note of the serious consequences noted by Mudaliar Committee (Para 16) of any channel passage through Adam's Bridge. Failure to evaluate the cultural significance of the project area NEERI has failed to take note of the cultural significance of the Adam's Bridge. It is considered as Setu Teerth (clearly mentioned in the Kurma Purana) and adored in the nation's ancient tradition. Adam's Bridge has always been considered a bridge or causeway in ALL previous texts, in ancient texts, in epigraphs, in travelogues, in government documents since the days of the British rule. 19 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Radical change in project scope: Switch from canal to mid-ocean channel passage There has been NO due diligence before suggesting an alternative sixth alignment which seeks to create a passage in the mid-ocean. Respondents' (Union of India) Counter No. 11 states: quot;EIA study revealed that in view of the environmental sensitivity along the coastal stretch of Gulf of Mannar harbouring the Marine National Pazrk, an alignment keeping a minimum distance of 6 to 8 kms from Van-Tiu Island in Tuticorin and more than 20 kms from Shingle Island in Adam's Bridge approach area is the most suitable. This alignment at a distance of 4 kms. From the Medial Line at Adam's Bridge and about 3 kms. at other places.quot; Why was the ‘best choice’ given up? This runs counter to the observations in the Techno-economic report also prepared by NEERI in August 2004: “All the earlier proposals selected the route, particularly in the Gulf of Mannar area passing through Mandapam / Rameswaram etc. involving the dredging of a canal mainly through the land portion. These alignments were so selected as to optimize the cost of dredging. An analysis of the earlier proposals reveal that with each proposal, the canal was shifted eastwards mainly due to the apprehensions of the local population. The report prepared by NEERI in 1998 had considered modification in route proposed by steering committee. However due to apprehension that route around Dhanushkodi might require to cut through Coral reef, the route suggested by steering committee was considered the best choice.” http://sethusamudram.gov.in/NSDRCSurvey.asp It is surprising that thi best choice (Alignment 4) has been abandoned and a channel passage has been proposed (Alignment 6) cutting through Adam’s Bridge (Rama Setu), a choice which the A R Mudaliar Committee had noted should be abandoned. NEERI and Project authorities have NOT provided reasons why this Committee’s observations were ignored [observations which were honoured by all four subsequent committees including the Lakshminarayanan Committee or Steering Committee which recommended Alignment 4 through Dhanushkodi without impacting on or damaging Rama Setu (Adam’s Bridge)]. This statement also directly runs counter to the arguments advanced in AR Mudaliar Committee (1956) report whose observations related to Adam's Bridge have been scrupulously observed by the various Committees which proposed and recommended alternative alignments, all of which DID NOT pass through the Adam's Bridge. Neither the EIA report, nor the project feasibility reports discuss why the serious objections raised by AL Mudaliar Committee Report were NOT discussed and were NOT answered. Excerpts below provide an overview of the alternative channel alignments considered to either create a canal or just a passage across the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Straits. The categorical recommendations of AR Mudaliar Committee (1956) are as follows, against any passage across the Adam's Bridge. 20 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • We are convinced that the Adam's Bridge site is unsuitable for the following reasons: First: The shifting Sandbanks in this area present a far more formidable problem – both at the stage of construction and during maintenance – than the sand dunes on the island site. Secondly: The approaches to a channel would be far too open with no possibility of construction of protective works. A channel at this site – even if it can be made and maintained (which is unlikely) – would entail definite navigational hazard. Thirdly: The channel would be bordering on the Sethusamudram Medial Line. In these circumstances we have no doubt, whatever that the junction between the two sea should be effectd by a Canal; and the idea of cutting a passage in the sea through Adam's Bridge should be abandoned. By not heeding these warnings, what started as a canal project has been converted into a mid-ocean channel passage cutting through Rama Setu with serious conequences impacting upon the coastline of Tamilnadu and Kerala, causing consternation among experts in Srilanka and Jaffna residents related to impact on drinking water supplies there and serious lapse of not including protection structures, like the walls built in Japan, to protect against another tsunami in the region. Historic Waters Agreement versus Creation of International Waters Boundary and failure to analyse Geopolitical implications AR Mudaliar Committee recommendations to stay away from the Medial Line have been ignored. Instead, the new channel passage has been designed to run close to the Medial line. This is a violation of the Agreement entered into between Smt. Indira Gandhi and Smt. Sirimavo Bandaranaike in June 1974 declaring the region as HISTORIC WATERS (that is, internal waters with full rights to coastal people of both the countries to access the aquatic resources of the waters). By choosing such an alignment, the Government, is, in effect, succumbing to the pressure of USA which refused to recognize this Agreement and this declaration of HISTORIC WATERS. To prove their refusal, as operational assertions, US naval vessels were repeatedly sent into the waters. By effectively creating an International Waters Boundary where such a boundary NEVER EXISTED, there are apprehensions that the traditional historic rights enjoyed by the people of India and Srilanka have been abrogated. Such an abrogation has serious consequences for the livelihood of the coastal people and introduces a new geopolitical issue in the region, given the importance of the shipping routes from Straits of Hormuz through Straits of Malacca for oil tanker traffic to the West Coast of USA and other countries east of India. An unusual (coincidence?) event occurred on 23 June 2005 following the visit of US naval ships in 1993, 1994 and 1999 in the region to assert the US failure to recognize the traditional claims of India and Srilanka treating these as HISTORIC waters under the Law of the Sea 1958. By choosing a channel passage running close to the medial line, a new phenomenon is sought to be created: an international waters boundary between India and 21 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Srilanka. A medial line is only relevant for recognizing the ownership of ocean properties of shanka (chank) and pearl fisheries. Traditionally, fishermen and pearl- divers had the freedom to move across the medial line treating the waters as historic, internal waters. US Navy Operational Directive of 23 June 2005 treating these as international waters is a serious assault on the nation's sovereignty and integrity. NEERI did not take into account the implications of the intrusion of international politics in this region. The impact on the lives of fisherfolk and coastal people will be devastating if the new new channel passage becomes a de facto international waters boundary since fish resources are available on the Srilanka side and will become inaccessible to the coastal people of Bharatam. Imperative of incorporating tsunami protection measures Impossibility of protection structures if a mid-ocean channel passage is chosen Tsunami protection measures are needed not only for saving lives of the coastal people, but the properties along the coastline (including critical atomic installations) and the thorium reserves accumulated in Manavalakurichi (Tamilnadu), Aluva and Chavara (Kerala). In fact, Rama Setu acted like a sieve for the ocean currents in accumulating these placer deposits. Cutting through the Rama Setu for a channel passage will impact on the accumulation process for these deposits critical for India’s nuclear program (the reserves will meet the energy needs of the nation for over 350 years according to BARC). Need to provide canal locks Not only should protective structures be included against tsunami and cyclones, but there should be locks provided on either end of the canal (as in Panama canal) to limit the ingress of saline Bay of Bengal waters and their turbulence into the placid, fragile ecozone of the Marine Bioreserve in Gulf of Mannar. It is surprising that these recommendations have been suddenly abandoned in favour of a mid-ocean passage increasing the distance of the channel for ships, increased dredging quantities with related increased costs and exposing the entire coastline of Tamilnadu and Kerala to devastation in a tsunami of the type that struck on Dec. 26, 2004. In fact, all the alignments considered so far should be revisited and reevaluated taking into account the impact on sea-depths caused by this tsunami. The failure to consider Mudaliar Committee injunctions against any Adam's Bridge alignment and the failure to consider the impact of a tsunami on the alternative channels and the failure to provide tsunami protection measures as an integral and vital component of the project raise matters of serious concern to coastline security and security of the coastal people. After the NEERI suggestion of alignment 6 (the present alignment on which work is proceeding), a cataclysmic event occurred, the tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004. This event should have necessitated a TOTAL and COMPREHENSIVE review of the entire project since the bathymetry (sea-depths) had changed (with rise of the sea-bed by about 200 metres in some regions) and devastation of aquatic life by denuding the 22 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • resources in the Gulf of Mannar by as much as 66 percent. As observed in PMO observations of 8 March 2005, the impact of any future tsunami on the chosen channel passage should have been subjected to a careful, multi-disciplinary review and evaluation. This was not done. PMO observations also referred to the views of tsunami-expert, Prof. Tad S Murthy who opined that the chosen alignment with the mouth of the channel directed to the direction of the tsunami would result in the destruction of Kerala and of Tamilnadu coastline due to 1. experience of the tsunami of 1964 in Alberni canal and 2. the principle of quarter wave resonance amplification (when a body of water forcefully tries to enter a tube, the wave amplitude increases four-fold). This is what happened in Alberni canal resulting in the devastation of Alberni port. Importance of Rama Setu in accumulation of placer deposits of thorium (nuclear fuel) NEERI did not take into account the role of Adam's bridge and ocean currents in the accumulation of placer deposits of thorium, a vital nuclear resource of the nation. The impact of another tsunami on these resources have also not been taken into account since the new passage is likely to function like a funnel absorbing the energy of the tsunami (instead of the waves going around Srilanka) and thus, directly impacting the coastline. Rama Setu as a monument of national and international importance (See Annex 1 on definition of monument and criteria for determining national importance) Rama Setu should be deemed to be a world heritage site Rama Setu (Adam's bridge) is a sacred monument. NEERI has failed to take this fact into account before suggesting the new channel passage route. Many monuments in India have also been declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Some examples of such declaration: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1138 Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection in Panama http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/653 Tubbataha Reef Marine Park in the Philippines http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/898 Kvarken Archipelago / High Coast in Sweden/Finland http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/369 Giant's causeway and Causeway coast in UK http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/154 Great Barrier Reef in Australia http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/764 Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System in Belize http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/80 Mont St. Michel and its bay in France http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/672 Ha Long Bay in Vietnam http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/306 Matobo Hills in Zimbabwe Rama Setu (or Nala Setu) should be declared as such a World Heritage Site. Here's how a US court deals with desiccation of a sacred mountain in USA: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20070312-1046-environment- navajos.html 23 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • U.S. court backs Indian tribe on sacred mountain Failure to evaluate cultural significance of Rama Setu “There are no archaeologically significant structures along the proposed channel alignment. However, there are apprehensions of encountering cultural/ archaeological artifacts during the excavation of the channel though borehole data generated by the National Ship Design Research Centre (NSDRC) does not support such a situation.” Source: http://sethusamudram.gov.in/EIA.asp#Env Environmental Impact Assessment for Proposed Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute Nehru Marg, Nagpur - 440 020 August 2004 This statement by NEERI is an example of suggestion falsi and suppression veri. Environment Impact Assessment Manual (Jan. 2001) of Dept. of Forests and Environments stipulates: quot;Assessment of impact on significant historical, cultural and archaeological sites/places in the area.quot; No discussion on this topic is found in the NEERI’s Environmental Impact Analysis report. The entire complex on either end of the Rama Setu is an archaeologically and culturally rich region. A cursory list of tirthasthaana venerated in the Indian tradition would have revealed that Setutirtha has always been as sacred as the tirtha of Ganga near Varanasi. In fact, the tradition is that water from Ganga is brought by pilgrims to do abhishekam to Rameshwara and to perform tirthasnaanam in Setutirtha. The very word Setusamudram in the project name is indicative of the significance. Setu in Tamil is explained in Abhidaanakosam as ‘ceyar karai’ that is, artificial bund (NOT natural bund). Rama Setu or Nala Setu or Setubandha are mentioned in many ancient texts including Ramayana, Mahabharata and almost all Puranas. A Prakrit kaavya called Setubandha was written by King Damodara Sena in 6th century. Setu sculptures adorn the Prambanan (Brahmavana) temple in java,Indonesia. The name Dhanushkodi is a reference to the tradition associated with Sri Rama using the Dhanus to combat Samudraraja (depicted in a Ravivarma painting adorning Mysore palace). Aasetu himachalam, logo of Survey of India Survey of India has the logo: Aasetu himachalam indicating the Setu as a boundary marker of India. Cartographic, epigraphic, numismatic, literary evidences for the existence of Rama Setu or Setubandha A mere look at the maps of University of Chicago called South Asia Atlas edited by Schwartzberg would have shown the importance of the Setu mentioned in many ancient maps including the observations in Al-Biruni’s texts, showing Setu and Adam’s Bridge within parenthesis. 24 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • • A monument to be declared or deemed to be of national importance, DOES NOT have to be man-made. • Brahmasarovar has been deemed to be an ancient monument. About 5 lakh pilgrims go there on a solar eclipse day for tirthasnaanam and to offer tarpanam to ancestors. (Punjab and Haryana HC order 1993). • The name given by British cartographers, Adam’s Bridge shows that it was recognized as a structure relatable to the first man on earth. Christians and Muslims believe that Adam after banishment from heaven walked across the bridge to reach Adam’s Peak (called Vishnupaadam). • Parantaka Chola (10th century) has a Velanjeri Copper plate inscription which states that he went to Setutirtha for tirthasnaanam and offered tulaabhaaram. Arguments for Setubandha as a sacred monument. Many textual evidences, Asiatic researches, epigraphs prove Setubandha as a monument sacred in Bharatiya tradition. • For centuries, Rama Setu has served as a land bridge linking India and Srilanka (evidenced by scores of ancient maps and research reports). • Thousands of Setu coins of Aryachakravarti of 10th to 13th centuries have been found in Jaffna. The Srilanka end of the Setu has a Mahatirtha (Mahatittha) and a Shiva temple. 25 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Annex 1 THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND REMAINS ACT, 1958 ACT NO. 24 OF 1958 1* [28th August, 1958.] An Act to provide for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance, for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects. The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 defines an ‘ Ancient Monument ’ as follows:- Ancient Monument means any structure, erection or monument, or any tumulus or place of interment, or any cave, rock-sculpture, inscription or monolith which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than 100 years and includes— 1. Remains of an ancient monument, 2. Site of an ancient monument, 3. Such portion of land adjoining the site of an ancient monument as may be required for fencing or covering in or otherwise preserving such monument, a 4. The means of access to, and convenient inspection of, an ancient monument; The section 2(d) defines archaeological site and remains as follows: Archaeological site and remains means any area which contains or is reasonably believed to contain ruins or relics of historical or archaeological importance which have been in existence for not less than one hundred years, and includes— 1. Such portion of land adjoining the area as may be required for fencing or covering in or otherwise preserving it, and 2. The means of access to, and convenient inspection of the area; http://asi.nic.in/asi_monuments.asp The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) are responsible for identifying new monuments and ensuring existing ones are protected. English Heritage (EH) advises DCMS in these matters. Criteria for designating a Scheduled Ancient Monument The following criteria are used by the local government of Cheltenham in UK “Only monuments of national importance are included in the list. Decisions regarding whether a monument is of national importance are guided by criteria laid down by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. This criteria is as follows: 26 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com
    • Extent of survival o current condition o rarity o representivity, either through diversity or because of one important o attribute importance of the period to which the monument dates o fragility o connection to other monuments, or group value o potential to contribute to our information, understanding and o appreciation extent of documentation enhancing the monument's significance” o http://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/libraries/templates/ourservice.asp?URN=4031&Folde rID=0 27 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial :: http://www.docudesk.com