In yet another set back to the dredging work of Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, a giant crane sent to retrive the spud that broke while trying to cut the "Ramar Sethu" or Adams Bridge in the Palk Strait has also broken and a part of it had sunk in the sea, officials said.
The spud of the "Cutter-Sucker-Dredger Aquarius" had broken last week while cutting the bridge, dealing a blow to the dredging work. With the crane also broken, the project was likely to be delayed further, the officials said.
The 150-tonne floating tug crane "Thangam", hired for several lakhs of rupees a day by the project officials, could not pull out the spud and broke in the process on Sunday.
The crane's locking-key had broken and it would take another 10 days to retrieve and repair it.
Officials were now thinking of bringing a bigger crane - Hanuman - having 200 tonne capacity from Vishakapattinam to retrieve both the sunken crane and the spud.
AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa has opposed dredging in the area of Ramar Sethu bridge, stating that it was a historical monument.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ram constructed a stone bridge to enable his 'Vaanara Sena' to cross the Palk Straits to wage war with Ravan, King of Lanka, who had abducted his wife Sita.