Stalling SSCP will have cascading effect: CPI

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Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, Feb 23 (UNI) The Communist Party of India (CPI) today warned that if the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) was stalled, it would hamper the expansion works of various harbours.

CPI State Secretary D Pandian, who was here to participate in the public meeting organised by the Left parties demanding the implementation of the project, told reporters that the cloud of uncertainty over the SSCP would impede the expansion works at various harbours like Tuticorin, Valinokkam, Thondi, Rameswaram and Nagapattinam, which was part of the SSCP.

He said it would be a ''colossal waste'' if the project was stalled now as almost 60 per cent of the works had been completed, spending crores of Rupees.

Holding the Centre ''succumbing to pressure from divisive forces'' responsible for the present situation, the CPI leader said the SSCP was not just a shipping project, but an attempt to exploit the country's marine wealth, a task hitherto ignored.

Mr Pandian sought a piece of legislation to check communal forces from hindering development projects in the name of religion.

He gave a call for nationalisation of rivers and sought an announcement with regard to linking of peninsular rivers in the budget session of Parliament. As the project required funds to the tune of Rs 5.5 lakh crore, the Government could use the Rs 11 lakh crore worth foreign exchange at its disposal, he added.

UNI XR GD RL KN1759

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