The Central government will explore alternate ways for its Sethusamudram Shipping Canal project, without touching the Ram Sethu. An affidavit to that effect has been filed in the Supreme Court by the Central government in a batch petitions filed by various persons, including Subramanian swamy.
Swamy mentioned the matter today, when Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand told the Court that it would not be touching the Ram Sethu, and that an affidavit has been filed to that effect.
The Centre, in its affidavit has stated that considering the socio-economic disadvantages of ‘Alignment 6’ of the project, the government does not want to implement the same. It further states, “That the Government of India intends to explore an alternative to the earlier Alignment of Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project without affecting/damaging the Adam’s Bridge/Ram Sethu in the interest of the nation.”
In his petition, Swamy had sought a plea to direct the Centre to clarify its stand on the mythological Ram Sethu, which is a chain of limestone shoals off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu.
Under the Sethusamudram project, an 83-km-long deep water channel is to be created, linking the Mannar Strait with Palk Strait, by extensive dredging and removal of the limestone shoals which constitute the mythological Sethu.
The matter had come up for hearing on November 13 last year, when Pinky Anand sought six weeks’ time to obtain instruction from the Centre.