Science and rationality have taken a beating in the unfolding of the recent events surrounding the controversial mega marine project called the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) of the Government of India.

The National Democratic Alliance government did it-undermining the autonomy of a scientific department called the Archaeological Survey of India. The United Progressive Alliance has compounded it by withdrawing a scientific body's opinion on a matter on which it is eminently competent, and statutorily obliged, to give its view.

Judgement of the Supreme Court of India on Sethusamudram Project dated 17 July 2007 in the matter of Sethusamudram Corpn. Ltd Vs Rama Gopalan & Others.

The Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP) is a 167 km long shipping canal, and envisages the creation of a navigable canal from the Gulf of Mannar to the Bay of Bengal to facilitate the movement of ships. The proposed SSCP site is located in a globally significant marine ecosystem – the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, one of world's richest marine biological resources.


The Sethusamudram Ship Canal connecting the Bay of Bengal to the Gulf of Mannar will be constructed by dredging a channel in the existing coastal waters either side of the Palk Bay. The canal will reduce the steaming distances between the east and west coast of India and will improve navigation within the territorial waters of India. It is a challenging project which will impose a range of impacts both in the short and long term on the coastal waters of both India and Sri Lanka.

On March 4, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board formed an expert technical group to look into the objections raised in public hearings to SSCP. M Ravindran, former director of the National

Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, when completed, will transform parts of the southern coromandal coast qualitatively. Since historical times, this portion of the coast (Palk Bay, Adam’s Bridge) is used only to fleets of small crafts involved in coastal trading and fishing.

The Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project under the consideration of the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India, envisages creation of a ship navigation channel to suit different draughts (9.15 m, 10.7 m and 12.8m) through dredging/excavation in Adam’s Bridge, parts of Palk Bay and Palk Strait.

Sethusamudram ship canal project

Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project started by the government of India has many adverse effects on Sri Lanka . It is already proved that both India and Sri Lanka will undergo massive environmental damage as a direct result of this project.