Baalu says first ship across Sethu by Nov 2008
Chennai, Oct 21 (UNI) Union Shipping Minister T R Baalu today said the prestigious Sethusamudaram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) will be successfully completed by November next year with the first ship sailing through the new channel.
Speaking to reporters after inaugurating a free medical camp here, Mr Baalu said despite the obstacles placed by some people, the SSCP would be implemented as it would be a boon to state fostering economic development.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi would be present at the flagging off ceremony of the first ship to traverse the SSCP, he asserted.
To a question, he said the dredging works were stopped only in the Adam's Bridge Area following the Supreme Court directive. But work was on in Palk Straits.
He said the Centre had formed an expert committee which would submit its report to the Apex Court.
The Supreme Court would give its final verdict on the project based on the report.
Castigating those opposing the project, especially AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa, Mr Baalu said the intention was to gain publicity.
He said Rs 500 crore worth environmental protection projects under the IX Five Year Plan for Chennai, 'shelved by the previous AIADMK Regime,' were now being implemented.