Sethu digs for dugongs
July 4, 2005 2:14 PM   Subscribe

600 arrests over Sethusamudram Ship Channel. That seemed like a lot. So I was curious about why. Turns out, they're going to dredge up the sea floor so big ships can have a short cut. Fisherfolk and others think it's probably a pretty bad idea.
posted by RedEmma (4 comments total)
Well that it's a bad idea it's quite evident

1. 90 kmlong 12.8 meters deep x 300 meters wide channel
2. to save 36h of navigation

It's an absurdity..unlike Panama or Suez that save weeks if not months this is going to save couple days at best.
posted by elpapacito at 3:44 PM on July 4, 2005

Corporate mentality calculates hours by sometimes millions of dollars. That couple days, multiplied by the number of ships per year, could really add up, depending on how a given shipping company crunches their numbers. I'm not saying that makes it any more logical from an environmental perspective, but protecting the environment is an impediment to many companies' bottom line.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:23 PM on July 4, 2005

Besides the impact to the area to be dredged dumping 350 million cubic metres of dirt somewhere else is going to have a big impact on that area too.
posted by arse_hat at 7:01 PM on July 4, 2005

as i've been thinking about this, i guess i've been musing on our past "ecoterrorist" threads, and thinking about the differences here. thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of people in this place see a direct threat in this channel dredging to their way of life, their ecosystem and even the pride they take in both those things.

so, theoretically speaking (and i'm speaking as someone who generally falls on the side of nonviolent civil disobedience), at what point is ecotage acceptable, here?

the Indian and Sri Lanka governments are following the "bottom line," meaning they aren't much at all about long-term ecological and sociological impact--its about the money. (they're paying lip service to the eco-concerns, but that's about it.) if they continue to ignore the concerns of the folks who live there, at what point do people (regular MeFi folk) think it would be morally acceptable to, say, destroy a dredger, or blow up an empty office building? or maybe they should appeal to the UN? is there such a recourse? is it meaningful? what would you do if you were a fisherman from Adam's Bridge?
posted by RedEmma at 9:48 AM on July 5, 2005

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