Monday, September 24, 2007

as the fight over God escalates in the sethusamurdram project, one thing that is being smashed into pieces and will be smashed further is the ecology of the already fragile gulf of mannar biosphere area in the indian ocean.

cnn ibn story, although brief, vividly captures the important questions and i capture that crucial paragraph below.
Spread over 10,000 square kilometers, this is India's only marine biosphere reserve. With over 400 species of fish and 3500 species of marine life as varied as sea coral, dugongs and sea turtles, all under threat from the Sethusamudran project

in this kind of crucial ecosystem which feeds tens of thousands of fishermen, any mega activity has to be very openly analyzed and impact assessment done on the environmental front. not only that any such mega activity also has to be analyzed vis-a-vis the so called benefits.

but as atree researcher points out there are several violations on the environmental impact assessment (eia) and other important parameters on this destructive project.

with massive dredging resulting in massive amounts of sand the project proponents have not even identified how will they dispose such a mega huge quantity of sand and more importantly how this massive dredging will affecting the bio diversity of the region resulting in smashing of livelihoods of fishermen. also no thought has been spared on the re-deposit of the dredged sand due to natural ocean cycles.

the project is now being pitted as god versus no god. one thing man has forgotten though. irrespective of whether it is god or no god, one thing is certain if this project goes ahead and completes. destruction of the ecology of the gulf of mannar biosphere resulting in direct loss of livelihood to tens of thousands of fisherfolks.

when it comes to development, god or no god is not the question. the question should be whether the project is environmentally safe for the ecosystem and whether the project will not cause loss of livelihood to tens of thousands of people. sadly these very important 2 points have been brushed aside right from environmental impact assessment phase till the now ongoing god phase.


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