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NIO to Carry out EIA for new alignment of Sethusamudram Project
The Ministry of Shipping has nominated the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a new alignment of the Sethusamudram Channel between southern tip of India and northern tip of Sri Lanka. The Expert Committee established by the Supreme Court to advise on the alignment had earlier recommended NIO for this task. The committee is chaired by Dr. R.K. Pachauri.
NIO has tied up with two other institutions to carry out the EIA. The National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, another CSIR laboratory, will conduct the EIA over land through which the proposed channel passes. The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B) will carry out cost-benefit analysis. The project costing Rs.9.45 crore (over US$ 2 million) and scheduled to be completed in 18 months is being led by Dr. Sanil Kumar of NIO, Goa. The Regional Centre of NIO at Kochi will be associated with the project. The project involves extensive year-round environmental data collection in the Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay, Adam’s Bridge and surrounding areas. It is expected that the project will lead to significant improvement in understanding the oceanography of this little studied region, besides determining feasibility of the Sethusamudram Canal from the point of view of environment and economics.
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