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Table NIO expert group report on Sethu: Swamy

Table NIO expert group report on Sethu: Swamy

Author: Express News Service
Publication: The New Indian Express
Date: June 5, 2009
URL: http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/print.aspx?artid=ObiMv|OTmIY<http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/print.aspx?artid=ObiMv%7COTmIY>=

The Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project was being initiated without any study done on the potential impact of geological changes on the canal, Janata Party President Dr Subramanian Swamy said on Thursday.

Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan's statement that the "Sethu project gets completed as planned'' amounted to contempt of court as the matter was still under judicial consideration, he told reporters here.

Swamy said the government should make public the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) expert group report on the project.

He said the report should be tabled in the parliament "so that all citizens would know what skullduggery took place in rushing the Sethu project for implementation by the former shipping minister T R Baalu."

Swamy alleged that the former DMK Union minister had cleared the implementation of the Sethu project despite the NIO expert group and Dr R K Pachuri panel (in a report in March 2009) pointed out that it "was done without any study done on the potential impact of tectonic changes on the canal."

"The report pointed out that during February 1948 to January 1949, tectonic changes led to the submergence of a part of Dhanushkodi town. It went on to recommend that an answer to this question was clearly needed to estimate the impact and viability of this project itself.'' he said.

The expert group's report, according to Swamy, also recommended that "a full-fledged Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) be carried out to enable an assessment of the possible impact on the environment and on the marine biosphere reserve.''

Alleging that Baalu approved the project in gross violation of government principles and for personal benefits, Swamy said the DMK MP should be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Swamy, in a reminder to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, sought his sanction to prosecute IT and Communication Minister A Raja for the malafide allocation of 2 G spectrum.

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