Centre to study SC's suggestion to explore alternative alignment

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Chennai, May 10 (UNI) Union Shipping and Highways Minister T R Baalu today said the Centre would study the Supreme Court's suggestion to explore alternative alignments to implement the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) to avoid destruction of the'Ram Setu'.

In a brief chat with newspersons here, he said the Supreme Court had only given a suggestion and not issued any directive. ''It is not a directive,'' he said, adding the government is yet to get details of what the apex court had said in its suggestion.

Once the details were received, the government would study them and take further steps, he added.

The Supreme Court on May had, asked the Centre to explore the possibility of finding alternative alignments to implement the Rs 2,400-crore canal project, so that the Ram Setu was not damaged.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan also asked the Centre to inform the court whether any scientific study had been undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to ascertain whether the 25-km long Ram Setu, also known as the Adam's Bridge, was a man-made ancient structure of national heritage, as per the directions of the Madras High Court.

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