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Sethusamuthruam

Shifting sands would create problems for Sethusamudram Channel: Survey

L. B. Senaratne

B. Senaratne

The Superintendent of Surveys of the Institute of Surveying and Mapping said that even if the 'Sethusamudram Channel' was constructed sand from sand-based islands would continue to shift into the proposed channel requiring sand removal every six months.

Mr. S. D. P. J. Dampegama also said that already survey studies have been undertaken jointly by the Survey Department and DEOCOM (a project under the Indian External Affairs Ministry) to define the boundaries of Sri Lanka so as to deposit the boundary plans by 2008 with the United Nations.

Director Dampegama made these comments addressing seminar on 'GPS' Day under the subject of 'Global Positioning Systems' held at the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture of the University of Peradeniya auditorium.

A Superintendent of Surveys and Lecturer of the Institute said that the surveys were done using GPS in the areas of 'Adams Bridge' and the Bay of Mannar. He said that surveys in these areas had been done earlier but accuracy to this extent had been possible due to the Global Positioning System.

He also said that moving sand islands are found in this area which draws Indian fishermen to the shallow waters. Fishermen have indicated the movement of sand islands, he added.

Kachchaitivu Island has a defined boundary which was surveyed during the Bandaranaike-Shastri Pact and also most of the areas in close proximity. Now it is only the Eastern areas that remains to be surveyed. He also told the 'Daily Mirror' that Geological Surveys should be undertaken in this area earmarked for the Channel Project, though the Project itself is over 20 years old.

In the meantime, Professor S. K. Kulasuriya of the University of Peradeniya at a recent meeting of the Professional Association, Kandy said that both the University of Peradeniya and the University of Madras should undertake indepth studies of the Fauna and Flora of the area where this Sethusamudram Cartel project is to be undertaken in view of the 'boiled' effect of the corals of the area which are valuable for the protection of the island.