Centre to approach SC on Ram Setu

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Chennai, Sep 18: Even as controversies continue to dog the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP), the Centre tonight said it would soon approach the Supreme Court to obtain 'appropriate orders to continue work on Adams Bridge.

According to an official release,a copy of which was made available here, Union Shipping Minister T R Baalu said following the orders passed by the Supreme Court on August 31 and September 14, only the work on the Adams Bridge portion of the project only had been stopped.

''The government would soon approach the Supreme Court and obtain appropriate orders to continue working in this region also and is confident of completing the project at the earliest,'' the release quoted the minister as saying.

He further quoted a judgement in the Narmada Bachao Andolan vs Union of India which said individual organisations in the garb of PIL cannot be allowed to challenge policy decisions after a lapse of time when such projects were undertaken and hundreds of crores of rupees of public money has been spent.

This was against national interest and contrary to established principles of law, it said.

The Adams Bridge or Ram Sethu has generated much heat with Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy and others filing petitions in the Supreme Court seeking not to damage the bridge.

In its affidavit, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had said there was no evidence to prove the bridge was man made and the petitioners primarily relied on mythological texts.

The ASI's statement that there was no evidence to prove the existence of the characters or the occurrence of the events in Ramayana sparked a furore forcing the Centre to withdraw parts of the affidavit and saying it would consider alternative alignment to protect the 30 km long Adams Bridge.


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