Sunday, September 16, 2007

Two Solutions To Save Ram Setu

Recently I have read comments here and here regarding the debate on Ram Setu or Adam's Bridge. Historians from all around the world are debating now, if the Ram Setu is a man-made (ape-made) structure or has it been naturally made. Whatever it may be, man-made or otherwise, it has sentiments of hindus and Indian culture intervowen with it. Ramayan is a prevalent story (history) across not only India, but across countries like Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, SriLanka and many other countries from South-East Asia. So, it is never a good idea to question someone's faith and especially not when you have so many people in a belief.

People who do not know what the Sethusamudaram Project that the government has proposed is, this explanation is for them. Currently ships traveling from the East coast of India to the West Coast have to travel across Srilanka (see figure below). The Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India proposes a new route which will decrease the travel time by 10-30 hrs. For this the ocean has to be dredged and the total cost of the project is Rs 2,427. So there's a development issue to it as well. The project will save on the costs of travel as well as improve navigation. So the big issue today is should faith/belief/religion come in between progress/technological development??


My idea is that we should find an in-between solution to the problem. Most of the debate happening around the world is not resulting in a solution. So, I thought how about giving out 2 solutions that can be implemented in this case.

The First Solution (Easiest and Cheapest):
We already have a land bridge between Pamban island which is used by cars to travel from Ramanathapuram to Rameshwaram. The height of this bridge should be increased, so that ships can travel from below this bridge. Additional dredging needs to be done across the sea bed, but it would be cheaper and easier compared to dredging the whole area near the Ram Setu.(see figure below). There are few examples around the world where such things have been done before, so shouldn't be a technical problem.


The Second Solution: (An Engineering feat to make India Proud)

India could build a canal bridge, something like done in Germany at Wasserstrassenkreuz. India has to build a similar bridge over the Ram Setu and it could be a great engineering feat. It would be a little costly, but India could take toll on the travel of ships for the maintenance of this bridge. It will be great achievement if India could pull this one off. The bridge can be 3km long since the width of the Ram Setu is less than a few hundred meters. The sea surface is not very deep and hence building such a thing will be easy. The Panama Canal and Suez Canal's architecture for water logging could be used to fill the bridge with water. (View the bridge here)

I have just proposed 2 solutions to this issue. There are many more solutions to the problem. Please leave your comments if you have any other solutions. Also, it would make many Indians happy if politicians could provide solutions rather than make noise on the issue.


Anonymous said...

It is good that you are thinking in a positive direction and trying to arrive at a solution. However, there is a lot more to this subject than just religious sentiments.

1) You need to do a Cost-benefit analysis before starting a project sizing multiple billions.
2) You need to look at the environmental angle. What will happen to the coral life and sea environment in general after the project is taken forward?
3) You need to consider the international issues. The disputes that it can cause over borders, security, resources and many others.
4) Lastly, one also needs to check whether the "structure" is a "man-made" one or natural. May be its just for fun, but will go a long way in creating an environment of trust among Indian masses.

Ranjeet Rain

Anonymous said...

dude, a canal bridge!!! The panama and the suez save the ships travel around a continent. The economics just don't measure up for a canal bridge.. if all you are going to save the ships is travel around srilanka. Anyways.. you are ignoring the unstated accusation in all this drama that srilanka was the abode of the rakshasas and ravana their king. And what do you mean by man-made bridge.. what people are claiming here is that it is a monkey made bridge.

Saptarshi Purkayastha said...

I think the 4 points you laid down were excellent and politicians as well as people engineering the project should think.

To 2nd Comment: I never said that 2nd solution (canal bridge) is a money saving solution. Just giving something to brag about!! A lot of stuff around the world is done for pure bragging, so I thought if u wanna waste money, then do something that you can brag about!! But then building it through Pamban Island is probably the easiest and best thing to do!!

Regarding the monkey/man-made debate, I have already mentioned ape-made in my post. There is a general analogy that we use in programming, but to give a more general example in India's context is: Who made the Indian railways?? (Correct ans: You would say Indian workers, or I would say Britishers). So you could call the Ram Setu man-made or ape-made, its finally made by someone or natural!!

Anonymous said...

Not Sure who the Author is........

The Lord surveyed the Ram Setu and said "Hanuman, how diligently and strenuously you and your vanara sena had built this bridge several centuries back. It is remarkable that it has withstood the ravages of the climatic and geographical changes over centuries. It is indeed an amazing feat especially considering the fact that a bridge at Hyderabad built by Gammon using latest technology collapsed the other day even before they could stick the posters on its pillars."
Hanuman with all humility spoke "Jai Sri Ram, it is all because of your grace. We just scribbled your name on the bricks and threw them in the sea and they held. No steel from TISCO or cement from Ambuja or ACC was ever used. But Lord, why rake up the old issue now."
Ram spoke "Well, Hanuman some people down there want to demolish the bridge and construct a canal. The contract involves lot of money and lot of money will be made. They will make money on demolition and make more money on construction. "
Hanuman humbly bowed down and said "Why not we go down and present our case"
Ram said "Times have changed since we were down there. They will ask us to submit age proof and we don't have either a birth certificate or school leaving certificate. We traveled mainly on foot and some times in bullock carts and so we don't have a driving license either. As far as the address proof is concerned the fact that I was born at Ayodhya is itself under litigation for over half a century, If I go in a traditional attire with bow and arrow, the ordinary folks may recognize me but Arjun Singh may take me to be some tribal and, at the most, offer a seat at IIT under the reserved category. Also, a God cannot walk in dressed in a three-piece suit and announce his arrival. It would make even the devotees suspicious. So it is dilemma so to say."
"I can vouch for you by saying that I personally built the bridge."
"My dear, Anjani putra, it will not work. They will ask you to produce the lay-out plan, the project details, including financial outlay and how the project cost was met and the completion certificate. Nothing is accepted without documentary evidence in India. You may cough but unless a doctor certifies it, you have no cough. A pensioner may present himself personally but the authorities do not take it as proof. He has to produce a life-certificate to prove that he is alive. It is that complicated."
"Lord can't understand these historians. Over the years you have given darshan once every hundred years to saints like Surdas, Tulsidas, Saint Thyagaraja, Jayadeva, Bhadrachala Ramdas and even Sant Tukaram and still they disbelieve your existence and say Ramayana is a myth. The only option, I see, is to re-enact Ramayana on earth and set the government records straight once for all."
Lord smiled "It isn't that easy today. Ravan is apprehensive that he may look like a saint in front of Karunanidhi. I also spoke to his mama Mareecha, who appeared as a golden deer to tempt Sita maiyya when I was in the forest and he said that he won't take a chance of stepping on earth as long as Salman Khan is around."

Purusotham26484 said...

Nice solution, Appriciable. I gave a link of your blog in my PAGE.

Bhargav Patel said...

Ram Setu (not adam bridge.. lets call it what it is)

is man made. The rocks that have been used in the bridge cannot be made in the sea. They are rocks found on sea shores/beaches.

And there for it is man made.

Anonymous said...

hi saptarshi...i am chandan can u mail me your email id. i want to share my solution for the ramsetu issue..mail me at