Togadia urges Centre to cancel SSCP

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Kochi, Sep 16: Reiterating the saffron outfit's stand on the Ram Setu issue, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Secretary-General Praveen Togadia today urged the Centre to cancel the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) or find an alternative route for the project to protect the the mytrical bridge. Addressing a gathering, after inaugurating a Hindu Cultural Centre here, Mr Togadia said the destruction of the bridge would cripple the Indian economy, as it would jeopardize the vast thorium deposits on the Tamil Nadu and Kerala shores.

''With thorium enabled reactors, we could produce about 4,00,000 MW of electricity, which is above the current demand of 1,30,000 MW,'' he said.

Mr Togadia accused the Centre of playing to the tune of the US and European countries to destroy the bridge.

''The Centre should either cancel the new project or find a new route for it, as the destruction would render at least 4,00,000 fishermen unemployed apart from the environmental hazards,'' he added.

''If the Government could change the course of the Delhi Metro Rail to protect the Qutab Minar then the Centre should redraw the route for the SSCP to protect the religious sentiments of Hindus in the country,'' Mr Togadia said.

He said it was a shame to demand physical proof for Lord Ram's and Ram Sethu's existence as they were based on faith and ''faith should be respected and not insulted.'' The reference to Ram Sethu could be found in ancient coins of Tamil Nadu and the Asiatic Society had also vouched for its existence, he added.

''Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who is advocating for the construction of the Sethusamudram Project, had also signed a government gazette in 1982 stating that Ram Sethu was in existence,'' Mr Togadia said.

He said if the Government did not meet their demands, the party would launch mass agitations in the near future.

Later, talking to reporters, Mr Togadia said the issue would not be made used during polls, if there was snap polls in the country.

He also urged all parties, irrespective of their affiliations, to come forward to protect the Ram Setu.

UNI

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