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Shipping minister shields Sethusamudram Project

New Delhi, Mon, 28 Jan 2008 NI Wire

Union Minister for Shipping T R Baalu rebutted AIADMK chief Jayalalitha’s charge of Sethusamudram project on Monday for being unfeasible at the 12-metre depth of this canal as it caters only to small ships and replied most of the ships visiting Indian ports carries goods weigh less than 50,000 tonnes.

So according to AIADMK, all such ports should be sealed for the ships if weigh lower than 50,000 tonnes. He cited in evidence around 79 per cent of ships visiting Indian ports were small ones weighing less than 50,000 tonnes during 2006-07.

Last year 20,864 ships visited 12 Indian ports and out of these 16,442 ships weighed less than 50,000 tonnes, Baalu said in Chennai in his statement in response to Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta’s recent comment that the port was suitable only for small ships.

He said after the completion of the project all these ships would pass through the canal resulting into the shortening of distance by 424 nautical miles and thus would save time and fuel.

He said he did not break the protocol when wrote to Defence Minister A K Antony, against the Sureesh Mehta’s comments on the Sethusamudram project.

The Shipping Minister refuted Jayalalitha’s claim of his action as undemocratic and said she was perhaps not aware of what the protocol means in an interaction between Minister and officers of the armed forces or sometimes when the circumstances demanding officers to advise Ministers.

Admiral Mehta had last week pointed out that only small ships could sail at the 12-metre depth of the Sethusamudram Canal.

The Minister said ''let her get back to her acting career, which she is well versed with. That is the only good she can do to Tamils and Tamil Nadu,'' in response to AIADMK chief’s demand for his dismissal from the Union Cabinet for allegedly seeking withdrawal of Mehta’s comments.

Jayalalithaa had said earlier that no minister had the authority to write directly to a fellow minister about an officer in the department and said again only the cabinet or the prime minister had the authority to intervene in such issues.

She repeatedly had saying the Sethusamudram project would affect the livelihood of fishermen and the project was an effort to destroy a heritage structure. "It is a useless project for the future," she said.

T R Baalu responded in profound voice against AIADMK’s chief for questioning him whether he was an engineer to talk about the technicality of the project and on Ram Sethu. He asked her if expertise was the only yardstick for a person to head a Ministry, then former actor Ms Jayalalithaa, should only go back to acting.

He said it had become a practice for Ms Jayalalithaa to demand the dismissal of the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu and resignation of Ministers against the principles of democracy.

Few months ago Chief Minister Karunanidhi had asked, the people opposing to dredging of Ramsethu and claiming the bridge was built by Lord Rama, whether the Lord Rama was an engineer or had obtained an engineering degree from any college.

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M R Iyer

February 1, 2008 at 12:00 AM


I strongly feel that the personal life of politicians should not be dragged to the public or used for suppressing them or used as an instrument for giving replies against their queries. Let them maintain dignity and talk, which are related to political circle, standing firmly in that political circle only. No violation should be permitted on any ground. And especially women politicians should be given more respect by men and the public and more so over by the Politicians and also Ministers themselves. I strongly take a protest on allegations made by TRB on the AIADMK Supremo. From this behavior, one can judge how cheap and how cunning he is, to defame a woman. First let him study decency, and then let him study how to sit in the chair of central Minister. My dear folks, from the above, it is clearly understood that he is a coward, eunuch (He is not at all a Male?) and no guts. I challenge, all my comrades and folks, that if he is a Perfect Male having a Mustache (He has no Mustache on his face, Ref: His face on the attached photo), let him tell this word in front of me and see, what will happen? No he cannot. Perhaps, he may lose his tongue. He is afraid of Males. (He is not at all a Male?) He can show his courage only in front of a woman and that too a woman, who is innocent and peace loving, striving hard, day and night, working for the poor masses of TN, who is up keeping the principles of Hinduism and trying to save the poor people from suffering in TN. He was just a goo in TN, doing all illegal things only. I know his past very well. ,I again challenge him with my full voice and with full might that, if he is the Son, born to the same father and same Mother and having the same blood in his body, Let him reply to this public notice.

If anybody has comments, may please contact me.

M.R. Iyer

GVK Unnithan

January 31, 2008 at 12:00 AM

SSCP canal is only the eastern arm of Tuticorin (TPT) Port, only that and nothing more than that. Ships going in to TPT from east coast ports and vice versa will gain about 350 miles, but will not save corresponding time. The ship will have to stop frequently, move at very slow speed along the 167 mile long canal and always run the risk of collision, grounding etc. Only small ships of 30-40,000 GRT which can afford 11 meters draught will use it as the keel clearence may be just one meter in a 12 meter canal! Hence the stress to the ship will increase, so will the crew fatigue. Also the cost of fuel saved may equal the toll, pilotage charges and light dues. Given a chance, the ship from Kochi to Chennai will also not use it as it will save only 12 hours ( 325 miles) and will prefer the open sea with out any hazard. Even the Navy will think twice in using it, due to probable sub surface threat during war time. Contrary to the publicity, no international traffic will use the canal and hence will become a white elephant and may be a sick PSU ! The claim-- of 60 % ships visiting Indian ports will use it- is not only rediculous, but also height of stupidity.



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