Ram Sethu: Centre to tell SC panel report not feasible
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The Centre is all set to tell the Supreme Court that the report of the R K Pachauri committee, which has suggested an alternative route to the mythological Ram Sethu for the Sethusamudram project, is not feasible. In doing so, the Centre will junk the report of the Pachauri-led committee on the project. However, the Centre is likely to inform the court about its intention to appoint another committee to look at other options, including another route.
An affidavit is this regard is likely to be filed in the Supreme Court Registry on Friday after the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) gives its nod to the stand finalised by the Shipping Ministry.
The affidavit is also likely to talk of the amount that the Centre has spent on the project so far and the loss that would be caused if it is given up.
Sources told The Indian Express that the short affidavit will only say that the Centre is of the view that the viability of other possible alignments need to be explored thoroughly. Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran could be asked to argue for the Centre at the next hearing, slated to be held on Monday.
Ever since it was announced, the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, aimed at creating a shipping channel linking the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka to allow large ships to get to India's east coast from the west without navigating around Sri Lanka, has been attracting controversy.
Key UPA constituent DMK, which was ruling Tamil Nadu till May 2011, has been opposing any move to shelve the project, while opposition BJP has been opposing the project as conceptualised in 2005.
The BJP is opposed to the project being completed through the current route since that would result in dredging Ram Sethu, a stretch of limestone shoals that runs from Rameshwaram to Mannar Island, something that is seen as the mythological bridge that Lord Ram and his army built to reach Ravana's Lanka.
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