Group to raise scientific concerns on Sethu project

The government is putting together an advisory group to present its scientific concerns with India’s proposed Sethusamudram canal project. The government is putting together an advisory group to present its scientific concerns with India’s proposed Sethusamudram canal project. The move is a follow up to the last round of talks in August where India officially handed over detailed plans for the project, the hydrodynamic models and the environmental impact assessment studies.

Sri Lanka is now expected to study the three documents and possibly conduct its own studies and raise its concerns with India in the next round of talks set tentatively in November 2005.

Livelihood and environmental – both on land and to regional waters will be assessed by the group along with the impact on navigational emergencies like an oil spill.

The group will first present its initial findings, before proposing detailed studies where necessary.

Diplomats here say Sri Lanka does not have much of a say in the project as India is carrying out the project in its own territorial waters.

Sri Lanka can however raise concerns if the project pos