Wednesday, October 17, 2007

சேது சமுத்திரத் திட்டம்-ஒரு வல்லுனர் கருத்து(ஆங்கிலம்)

> 'The Sethu Samudram Project does not make nautical sense'> http://www.rediff. com/news/ 2007/oct/ 01inter.htm> > Continuing our series on the Sethu Samudram Shipping CanalProject, Shobha Warrier speaks to Captain (retired) H Balakrishnan ofthe Indian Navy to know a mariner's view of the project. CaptainBalakrishnan has been associated with the navy for 32 years. > He was one of the first batch of three Indian naval officers to dospecialisation in anti-submarine warfare in the erstwhile USSR NavalWar College. > > Out of interest, he did a study on the Sethu Samudram ShippingCanal Project from a mariner's point of view. Ever since the seriesappeared in the Indian Express, the captain has been much sought afterfor his interesting calculations. > > Why did you get interested in the Sethu Samudram Shipping CanalProject?> I don't belong to any political party. It was purely a mariner'sinterest that made me research the project. There were many reportsand statements in the media but I found that the mariner's point ofview was not talked about at all. It is sad that even today the entirediscourse on the project has got completely side tracked from the mainissue; that is, the project is for ships and the shipping industry.> > As a mariner, how do you describe the Sethu Samudram project?> The Sethu Samudram project, if I can put it simply from amariner's stand point, does not make any nautical sense. > > Why do you say so?> I have worked on the project from three different perspectives,all concerning the nautical world. I analysed the project in thebackdrop of the environmental factors that would impinge the safety ofthe ship and also the safety of lives at sea. Number two was thesecurity aspects which is maritime terrorism as it stands today. Andthe third was certain aspects of general navigation. > > What does your research on the environmental factors say?> We mariners call the coast between Rameswaram and Cuddalore thecyclone coast. The India Meteorological Department has assigned thiscoastline as a high risk probability. To site one example, in 1964,the Pamban Bridge was washed away by a severe cyclonic storm. > > A ship is safe when she is moving at the onset of a cyclone.Imagine a ship waiting to pick up its pilot as it approaches the PalkStraits to enter Sethu Samudram. No captain will wait for the pilot;his safety lies in heading south, towards Sri Lanka [Images]. > > The wind and waves bring in a large amount of silt and wash itashore. The same thing is going to happen to the Sethu Samudram Canal.This brings me to another point. Marine scientists have identifiedfive areas on the Indian coastline they call high-sinkage pits, andone of them happens to be the Palk Straits. > > What is left unsaid by the Sethu Samudram authorities is thatmaintaining the 12 metre depth (of the channel) will entail round theyear dredging. Once you establish the channel, you have to maintain it.> > You mean other than the capital expenditure, there will bemaintenance expenditure too. Will that be expensive?> Naturally. But this cost is not mentioned anywhere. This is thehidden cost which the authorities will have to pay to the dredgingcompany. It is a high siltation and sedimentation area. So, what youpick up today is going to get filled up the next day.> > What is the security threat you spoke about?> The Sea Tigers of the LTTE have control of that area off theJaffna coast. What the Sea Tigers may do is difficult to say. Piracyexists even today.> > Those who are against the project say the 12 metre depth of theCanal is not enough for big ships to pass through the canal. As amariner, what is your opinion on this?> It is quite true. If you take global shipping trends today, toreduce operating cost, they go in for larger ships of the order of60,000 deadweight tonnes and above. A 60,000 deadweight tonne carrierwill need anything in excess of 17 metres of draft. > > And as far as tankers go, the days of the super tanker are goneand you see only very large crude carriers of the type of 150,000 and185,000 tonnes. It makes more sense to have such big tankers as in onevoyage, you are bringing in more cargo and reduce your operating cost. > > None of these big ships will ever be able to use the SethuSamudram. So, the question is, for whom are you building the canal?30,000 tonnes was alright when Sethu Samudram was conceived in theearly fifties and the sixties. > > That leaves you with only the coastal bulk carriers that carrycoal from Kolkata, Paradeep and Visakhapatanam to Chennai or Tuticorin. > > How much time and money are saved if the ships go through theSethu Samudram Canal instead of going round Sri Lanka?> I plotted physically on a chart what we call 'passage planning'for a bulk carrier on passage as it happens today from Kolkata toTuticorin; one of them circumnavigating Sri Lanka as is happeningtoday and the other one going through the canal. > > The voyage distance from Kolkata to Tuticorin around Sri Lankaworks out to 1227 nautical miles. If you went through the canal, it is1098 nm. So, you are saving just 120 odd nm. > > The story doesn't end there. The majority of our bulk carriers goat a speed between 12 and 13 knots. That is the average speed at sea.I have checked with my friends who currently sail. They all said theydo 12 knots. However, I worked in a bracket of 12-15 knots. So, if youare going around Sri Lanka at 12 knots at constant speed at sea, thetime taken to reach outer anchorage at Tuticorin is 102 hours and 15minutes. > When you go through Sethu Samudram, the point to be remembered is,you cannot proceed at the speed at which you are sailing at sea. Thereason is the shallow water effect or what we call the 'Squat Effect'.So, the moment you enter Sethu Samudram, you have to reduce the spedby 50 per cent or more depending on the conditions prevailing at thatparticular time. So, I worked on a speed bracket of 6-8 knots. Butmany of my friends tell me 8 knots is too high for a 30,000 tonne bulkcarrier. In all my calculations, I gave the benefit of doubt to theSethu Samudram project.> > The second aspect is, it is not an open seaway; it is likeentering a port. A pilot boards the ship, who is a local mariner withgreater knowledge of the marine environment. The same thing has to bedone at Sethu Samudram also. I have given one hour delay for the shipto reduce speed for the pilot to climb aboard. You repeat the processat the other end too for him to disembark. > > With this 6 knots speed and 2 hours pilotage delay, my time toTuticorin via Sethu Samudram works out to 100 hours 30 minutes. If youwent around Sri Lanka, it is 102 hours 15 minutes! So, your netsavings in time by going through Sethu Samudram is 1 hour 45 minutes!Is it worth spending Rs 2,400 crore to save 1 hour 45 minutes? > > You spoke of travel time. What about the cost?> The Sethu Samudram project from the media reports and thestatement given by the finance minister will cost at Rs 2,400 crore,of which Rs 971 crore is through a special purpose vehicle. The debtportion has been pegged at Rs 1,465 crore. Assuming an interest burdenof 10 per cent, the interest payment on Rs 1,465 crore is Rs 146 croreper annum. Twenty to 25 years is the time given for repayment. > > Assuming 25 years for Rs 1,465 crore, capital repayment works outabout 56 crore per annum. So, Rs 146 crore for interest burden and Rs56 crore as repayment works out to roughly Rs 204 crore per annumwhich is what the authorities will have to repay to any financialinstitution. This is only to break-even. But the web site says it is aprofitable industry and it is going to make 'mammoth profit'. > > As the earning is going to come only from ships, I asked, how manyships are going to transit in a year through the canal? Ships that canuse the canal will be coal carrying bulk carriers as long as theTuticorin thermal power plant exists. > > Having made the calculation, I feel they are rather optimistic intheir figures. They have given a mean value of about 3,055 ships meantto use the canal in the year 2008 and by the year 2025, they expect itto go to in excess of 7,000 ships. Mind you, for 12 metres of depth! But > I can't see more than 1,000 ships using the Sethu Samudram canalin a year. > > If you take Rs 204 crore as annual repayment, and 1,000 ships useit, your per ship cost works out to Rs 22 lakhs pilotage charge tobreak even. There is an interesting comparison done by K SRamakrishnan, former deputy chairman, Chennai Port Trust. He pegsaround Rs 50 lakh as pilotage rate per ship if you have to make a profit. > > Then I calculated the fuel consumed. These ships consume 1 metrictonne of fuel per hour, which costs Rs 24,000. For the Sethu Samudramcanal, you have to add the pilotage cost too. In effect, if a shipgoes through the canal, a shipping company loses Rs 19 lakh pervoyage. It is more cost effective to circumnavigate Sri Lanka from thepoint of view of the shipping industry. > > Therefore, neither are you saving time nor is it viableeconomically. These are the two aspects that need to be highlighted.So, there is absolutely no advantage to the ships and the shippingindustry. So, what are we gaining by spending Rs 2,400 crore of taxpayers' money? It is a white elephant in the making.> > So, you must be against realignment which some political partiesare talking about?> Any course, any realignment, is going to prove uneconomical to theshipping industry. If it is of no use to the shipping industry, whybuild it? You can bring about better economic progress to the southerndistricts of Tamil Nadu by building expressways. That is why I say theSethu Samudram shipping canal project makes no nautical sense. That isthe tragedy of the project.> > Those who support the Sethu Samudram Canal compare it to the SuezCanal and the Panama Canal and say the Sethu Samudram is the Suez ofthe East.> In the case of the Suez and the Panama canals, ships savethousands of nautical miles in sailing distance and hundreds of hoursin sailing time vis-?-vis the Sethu Samudram where a ship willprobably save a few hundred miles and at the most twohours in sailingtime. This is the difference. > > aiting to pick up its pilot as it approaches the PalkStraits to enter Sethu Samudram. No captain will wait for the pilot;his safety lies in heading south, towards Sri Lanka [Images]. > > The wind and waves bring in a large amount of silt and wash itashore. The same thing is going to happen to the Sethu Samudram Canal.This brings me to another point. Marine scientists have identifiedfive areas on the Indian coastline they call high-sinkage pits, andone of them happens to be the Palk Straits. > > What is left unsaid by the Sethu Samudram authorities is thatmaintaining the 12 metre depth (of the channel) will entail round theyear dredging. Once you establish the channel, you have to maintain it.> > You mean other than the capital expenditure, there will bemaintenance expenditure too. Will that be expensive?> Naturally. But this cost is not mentioned anywhere. This is thehidden cost which the authorities will have to pay to the dredgingcompany. It is a high siltation and sedimentation area. So, what youpick up today is going to get filled up the next day.> > What is the security threat you spoke about?> The Sea Tigers of the LTTE have control of that area off theJaffna coast. What the Sea Tigers may do is difficult to say. Piracyexists even today.> > Those who are against the project say the 12 metre depth of theCanal is not enough for big ships to pass through the canal. As amariner, what is your opinion on this?> It is quite true. If you take global shipping trends today, toreduce operating cost, they go in for larger ships of the order of60,000 deadweight tonnes and above. A 60,000 deadweight tonne carrierwill need anything in excess of 17 metres of draft. > > And as far as tankers go, the days of the super tanker are goneand you see only very large crude carriers of the type of 150,000 and185,000 tonnes. It makes more sense to have such big tankers as in onevoyage, you are bringing in more cargo and reduce your operating cost. > > None of these big ships will ever be able to use the SethuSamudram. So, the question is, for whom are you building the canal?30,000 tonnes was alright when Sethu Samudram was conceived in theearly fifties and the sixties. > > That leaves you with only the coastal bulk carriers that carrycoal from Kolkata, Paradeep and Visakhapatanam to Chennai or Tuticorin. > > How much time and money are saved if the ships go through theSethu Samudram Canal instead of going round Sri Lanka?> I plotted physically on a chart what we call 'passage planning'for a bulk carrier on passage as it happens today from Kolkata toTuticorin; one of them circumnavigating Sri Lanka as is happeningtoday and the other one going through the canal. > > The voyage distance from Kolkata to Tuticorin around Sri Lankaworks out to 1227 nautical miles. If you went through the canal, it is1098 nm. So, you are saving just 120 odd nm. > > The story doesn't end there. The majority of our bulk carriers goat a speed between 12 and 13 knots. That is the average speed at sea.I have checked with my friends who currently sail. They all said theydo 12 knots. However, I worked in a bracket of 12-15 knots. So, if youare going around Sri Lanka at 12 knots at constant speed at sea, thetime taken to reach outer anchorage at Tuticorin is 102 hours and 15minutes. > When you go through Sethu Samudram, the point to be remembered is,you cannot proceed at the speed at which you are sailing at sea. Thereason is the shallow water effect or what we call the 'Squat Effect'.So, the moment you enter Sethu Samudram, you have to reduce the spedby 50 per cent or more depending on the conditions prevailing at thatparticular time. So, I worked on a speed bracket of 6-8 knots. Butmany of my friends tell me 8 knots is too high for a 30,000 tonne bulkcarrier. In all my calculations, I gave the benefit of doubt to theSethu Samudram project.> > The second aspect is, it is not an open seaway; it is likeentering a port. A pilot boards the ship, who is a local mariner withgreater knowledge of the marine environment. The same thing has to bedone at Sethu Samudram also. I have given one hour delay for the shipto reduce speed for the pilot to climb aboard. You repeat the processat the other end too for him to disembark. > > With this 6 knots speed and 2 hours pilotage delay, my time toTuticorin via Sethu Samudram works out to 100 hours 30 minutes. If youwent around Sri Lanka, it is 102 hours 15 minutes! So, your netsavings in time by going through Sethu Samudram is 1 hour 45 minutes!Is it worth spending Rs 2,400 crore to save 1 hour 45 minutes? > > You spoke of travel time. What about the cost?> The Sethu Samudram project from the media reports and thestatement given by the finance minister will cost at Rs 2,400 crore,of which Rs 971 crore is through a special purpose vehicle. The debtportion has been pegged at Rs 1,465 crore. Assuming an interest burdenof 10 per cent, the interest payment on Rs 1,465 crore is Rs 146 croreper annum. Twenty to 25 years is the time given for repayment. > > Assuming 25 years for Rs 1,465 crore, capital repayment works outabout 56 crore per annum. So, Rs 146 crore for interest burden and Rs56 crore as repayment works out to roughly Rs 204 crore per annumwhich is what the authorities will have to repay to any financialinstitution. This is only to break-even. But the web site says it is aprofitable industry and it is going to make 'mammoth profit'. > > As the earning is going to come only from ships, I asked, how manyships are going to transit in a year through the canal? Ships that canuse the canal will be coal carrying bulk carriers as long as theTuticorin thermal power plant exists. > > Having made the calculation, I feel they are rather optimistic intheir figures. They have given a mean value of about 3,055 ships meantto use the canal in the year 2008 and by the year 2025, they expect itto go to in excess of 7,000 ships. Mind you, for 12 metres of depth! But > I can't see more than 1,000 ships using the Sethu Samudram canalin a year. > > If you take Rs 204 crore as annual repayment, and 1,000 ships useit, your per ship cost works out to Rs 22 lakhs pilotage charge tobreak even. There is an interesting comparison done by K SRamakrishnan, former deputy chairman, Chennai Port Trust. He pegsaround Rs 50 lakh as pilotage rate per ship if you have to make a profit. > > Then I calculated the fuel consumed. These ships consume 1 metrictonne of fuel per hour, which costs Rs 24,000. For the Sethu Samudramcanal, you have to add the pilotage cost too. In effect, if a shipgoes through the canal, a shipping company loses Rs 19 lakh pervoyage. It is more cost effective to circumnavigate Sri Lanka from thepoint of view of the shipping industry. > > Therefore, neither are you saving time nor is it viableeconomically. These are the two aspects that need to be highlighted.So, there is absolutely no advantage to the ships and the shippingindustry. So, what are we gaining by spending Rs 2,400 crore of taxpayers' money? It is a white elephant in the making.> > So, you must be against realignment which some political partiesare talking about?> Any course, any realignment, is going to prove uneconomical to theshipping industry. If it is of no use to the shipping industry, whybuild it? You can bring about better economic progress to the southerndistricts of Tamil Nadu by building expressways. That is why I say theSethu Samudram shipping canal project makes no nautical sense. That isthe tragedy of the project.> > Those who support the Sethu Samudram Canal compare it to the SuezCanal and the Panama Canal and say the Sethu Samudram is the Suez ofthe East.> In the case of the Suez and the Panama canals, ships savethousands of nautical miles in sailing distance and hundreds of hoursin sailing time vis-?-vis the Sethu Samudram where a ship willprobably save a few hundred miles and at the most twohours in sailingtime. This is the difference. > >

2 comments:

தொழிற்களம் குழு said...

தமிழ் பதிவர்களுக்கான புதிய திரட்டி

வாருங்கள் ஒன்று திரள்வோம்!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

தமிழின் பெருமையை உலகிற்கு உரைத்து சொல்ல ஒன்று கூடுவோம்.....

ஆகஸ்ட் - 26-ல் சென்னை மாநகரில்.....

அனைத்துலகத் தமிழ் பதிவர்களின் சந்திப்பு வரும் ஆகஸ்ட் 26-ம் தேதி (ஞாயிறு) சென்னையில் நடைபெற இருப்பதால் தமிழ் வலைப் பதிவர்கள் அனைவரும் கலந்து சிறப்பிக்க வருகை தாருங்கள்.....


மதுமதி மற்றும் குழுவினருடன் மக்கள் சந்தை.com
95666 61214/95666 61215
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தொழிற்களம் குழு said...

தமிழ் பதிவர்களுக்கான புதிய திரட்டி

வாருங்கள் ஒன்று திரள்வோம்!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

தமிழின் பெருமையை உலகிற்கு உரைத்து சொல்ல ஒன்று கூடுவோம்.....

ஆகஸ்ட் - 26-ல் சென்னை மாநகரில்.....

அனைத்துலகத் தமிழ் பதிவர்களின் சந்திப்பு வரும் ஆகஸ்ட் 26-ம் தேதி (ஞாயிறு) சென்னையில் நடைபெற இருப்பதால் தமிழ் வலைப் பதிவர்கள் அனைவரும் கலந்து சிறப்பிக்க வருகை தாருங்கள்.....


மதுமதி மற்றும் குழுவினருடன் மக்கள் சந்தை.com
95666 61214/95666 61215
9894124021