Nagapattinam: An Environmental Impact
Assessment equipment erected by Kochi-based National Institute
of Oceanography (NIO) off the Kodiakakarai coast to examine a
new alignment of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal project has
been reported missing, officials said here today.
The equipment, which was installed in February 2010, was
dismantled on June 17 from its present location -- 10 nautical
miles off the coast -- and installed nearby. Five fishermen
deputed to guard it round the clock returned to the shore the
next day as the sea was very rough. On June 19, they returned
there to find it missing, the officials said.
However, it is not clear if the equipment got uprooted in
rough seas and drifted or was stolen, they said.
Meanwhile, the fisheries department has alerted all
fishing hamlets along the coast to contact it if they found
the equipment. Coast Guard officials are also conducting
enquiries, the officials said, adding that an NIO team would
arrive at Kodiakarai soon to ascertain the facts.
The Rs 30 lakh `current meter` collects environmental
data through water current analysis.
In July 2008, following a Supreme Court directive, the
Centre had appointed a panel headed by R K Pachauri, chairman
of UN`s Climate Change, to examine the feasibility of an
alternative alignment for the project.
The panel had nominated NIO, the Goa-based constituent
laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research,
to carry out EIA for the new alignment in Gulf of Mannar, Palk
Bay, Adam`s Bridge, Kodiakarai and other areas.