aggressive environmental strategy
Impact on the
Environment - Manitham Report
This whole Setusamudram Shipping
Channel Project (SSCP) area is a biologically rich and rated among
the highly productive sea of the World. The SSCP could cause huge
impact to the Ocean Ecosystem Says Manitham Report.
The total length of the SSCP in the Palk
Bay is 152.2 Kms. It is divided into three legs. The Southern leg in
the Adam's Bridge area is 20 Kms. The Northern leg in the Palk
Strait area is 54.2 Kms. The Central portion is 78 Kms. Dredging is
to be carried out in the Southern and Northern legs.
will be a dredge of sea floor of 12.8 meter deep, 300 meter wide for 2 way
traffic. If this happens to be sudden, tilt in the sea bed, may cause
numerous violent process, as like; a major change in drift, possible
change in gravitational pull etc.
whole SSCP area is a biologically rich and rated among the highly
productive sea of the World. The zooplankton was dominated by copepod.
Macrobenthos were represented by 78 varieties, meiofauna comprised larval
polychaetes, nematodes, worms and shrunken bodies of a new forms.
reef system as also the ecosystem of the tropical rain forest, are the
most matured marine ecosystems of our planet. They play an important role
in global biochemical processes and in the reproduction of food resources
in the tropical regions. Coral reefs act as a barrier against wave action
along coastal areas thus preventing coastal erosion. In addition, coral
reefs protect mangroves and sea grass beds in certain areas, which are the
breeding and nursing grounds of various economically important fauna.
Coral reefs are also important breeding, spawing, nesting, and feeding
areas for many economically important varieties of fishes and other marine
organisms. Coral reefs are a distinctive shoreline habitat of stunning
visual appeal found only between latitudes 30oN and 30oS. They grow only
where sea surface temperatures are above 20oC, the seabed is kept
silt-free by prevailing currents and waves, and there is intense surface
sunlight. Most living coral communities do not grow at depths of more than
50 m, although some grow at depths of 100 m. The people living along the
coast obtain a considerable proportion of their food and earnings from the
productivity of coral reefs. Coral reef ecosystems are very sensitive to
external impacts both natural and manmade, which violate their homeostasis
(Sorokin 1992). Mangrove, sea-grass and sea algal eco-systems have not
been affected much by the acts of anti-environmental elements; the
important coral reef system continues to be targeted. According to the
Wildlife Warden of the Gulf of Mannar National Park, Naganathar, [The
Hindu, Tuesday, Jun 08,2004] that the Forest department officials could
not take any action against the `so-called groups' because the matter was
in court. Considering the importance of preserving the eco-system, the
department would prefer an appeal in the Madras High Court to get vacated
the stay, which was in favour of limestone industrialists, he said.
Environmentalists feel that unless tough action is initiated against the
"anti-environmentalists," the lives of nearly five lakh
fishermen would be affected. For, breeding and feeding of fish cannot take
place in the absence of coral reef, which serves as a habitation for more
than 750 fish varieties. In GOM, Geomorphologically, coral reefs in this
area are of fringing type, though some patchy corals are also observed in
between Appa Island and Pilliyarmuni Island, and in some areas like
Bharathi nagar coast and southeast coast of Kariya Shuli Island. The major
causes of coral reef degradation are:
- Over fishing and destructive fishing practices
- Sea weed collection
- Commercial shell collection
- Coral mining
- Poor land use practices
- Coastal urban development
- Harbour and dredging activities
- Industrial development and pollution
Rainfall in both GOM and PS is estimated around 900 mm annually. This is
due to coral reef as per scientist version.
According to the above reports, Sethu Samuthram project implementation may
destruct coral reefs which, in turn, would tend to cause:
- High sea tides
- Surges might occur
- Hurricane, cyclone etc might take place
National Marine Park or Biosphere Reserve
Tamil Nadu Forest Department and the Ministry of External Affairs have
already declared 21 islands in 623.12 hectors, as National Marine Parks.
But now the Government of India through the NEERI says that the proposed
alignment will be far away from this National Marine Park. i.e., 'Van Tivu'
- the nearest island will be about 6 km and 'Shingle' island will be 20
Marine Mammals: Rare Species like sea turtles, dolphins, sea cows, sacred
sharks, thorny sea horse*, dugongs and whales are already located and
these areas said to be their natural habitat and grazing region. There are
also dangers of oil spills and other forms of pollution.
One expert from Sri Lanka Lareef Zubair, formerly of the Institute of
Fundamental Studies, Kandy, wrote in a Sri Lankan newspaper 'Daily News'
dated 07-04-1999, that the SSCP would disturb the marine life in the Palk
have come to know in our life time itself that Dhanskodi, a part of
India's coastal area submerged in 1964 due to land submission. In the
Sangam period, we have learnt about the city of Poompukar etc.
Even though the NEERI reports deny the existence of archaeological
structures under the sea bed, we insist to investigate more on this.
Otherwise, after the dredging, there is possibility of loosing the
archeological treasures that may be lying beneath the sea.
fear has also been expressed that, after the Gulf of Mannar is dredged to
cut the ship canal, nearly 85 islets in the Western coastal region of Sri
Lanka will be submerged into the sea. According to Oceanographers' view,
Indian Ocean around the tip of the Indian peninsula is an ancient area in
natural transition which has not yet completed its full formation. This
section is the most complex relief and the earth crust is still in motion.
According to Mr. K. Arulandam, Oceanographer at the National Aquatic
Resources Research and Development Agency [NARA], since implementation of
the project would cause an impact on environment affecting marine life,
remedial measures should be taken.
Manitham - Interim Report]
announced the launch of an
aggressive environmental strategy aimed at reducing carbon
dioxide emissions by 20% from 2007 levels by 2020.
The airline group said it will reach the target, which
assumes passenger growth of 4% annually, by
"implementing energy enhancements and mixing jet fuel
with renewable sources."
It said reaching the targeted reduction "requires a
large number of short-term and long-term activities" by
both it and the global aviation industry, including
developing new technologies such as alternative fuels and
the building of new aircraft "with improved
aerodynamics and more efficient engines,"
infrastructure upgrades such as implementation of the Single
Sky EU ATC system and lowering fuel consumption in daily
operations. In addition to efforts regarding air operations,
SAS plans by 2011 for its various airlines and
ground-handing operations to employ "only
environmentally friendly cars."