Mumbai, May 29 (UNI) There is a foreign hand which wants the ancient Ram Setu, linking India with Sri Lanka, to be demolished and cleared for the Union government's Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project, alleged Rameshwaram Rama setu Raksha Manch today.
Talking to reporters here, the Rameshwaram Ram setu Raksha Manch's (Kokan Prant) co-ordinator Vinayak Kale said the stretch has deposits of around 3,60,000 tonnes of thorium, which will go into the ocean floor once the bridge is demolished.
''The thorium deposits present there can produce electricity for India for the next 400 years at least, even if the annual consumption is four lakh watts,'' he said.
At present, the annual consumption of electricity is one lakh watts in India, he said.
''Foreign countries do not want India to take advantage of the thorium deposits, which can be used to generate electricity after Mr Jaganath of the National Thermal Power Corporation introduced the thorium-based technology,'' he said.
Reminding of the 1974 pact between former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and then Sri Lankan PM Bandaranaik Sirimavo, Mr Kale said as per the pact, the two leaders had agreed to recognise the sea water dividing the two neighbouring countries as ''historic'' water and not international water.
He said ''The demolition of the bridge will make the waters between the two countries as international water rather than historic water and everyone will have access to it rather than the two countries.'' Mr Kale further said the Ram setu Raksha Manch had welcomed the observation of the three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and others, which had asked the Government of India on May 8 to explore the possibility of finding alternative alignments to implement the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project, so that the ancient bridge was not damaged.
''The decision of the Supreme court has been welcomed by lakhs of Indians,'' he added.
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