NEW DELHI - At least six whales have died since July as a result of digging
under the sea to create a shipping route off India's southern coast, proving
that the controversial plan hurts the environment, activists said.
The digging or dredging is part of the US$560-million Sethusamudram Ship
Canal Project which will carve a channel in the narrow strip of sea between
southeastern India and western Sri Lanka, reducing distances and cutting
But environmentalists, who have opposed the project claiming it will badly
affect marine life, said the death of the whales proved their concerns were
"Since July, at least six whales have died after getting stranded on beaches
or have been washed ashore already dead," said Ossie Fernandez of Coastal
Action Network, an alliance of over 45 social and environmental groups.
"But local fishermen have seen more dead whales so it could be as high as
10," he said, adding that most of the dead whales were found off the coast
of Rameswaram -- a southeastern Hindu holy town in Tamil Nadu state.
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