New Delhi, Jul 23 (UNI) The chances of Ram Setu being spared brightened today when, reacting to the Supreme Court suggestion, the Union government agreed to take an alternative route while completing the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP).
A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal suggested to senior counsel F S Nariman appearing for the Union of India (UoI) that the government should do some balancing act between faith and biosphere and must not hurt the former even if a little damage is caused to the latter.
Justice Raveendran also suggested that the government should not try to create an issue where there is none.
He also told Mr Nariman that the situation would have been different had there been no alternative alignment but when number of alignments/alternatives are available why to insist on demolishing Ram Setu.
Mr Nariman agreed to the suggestion of the apex court and assured the latter that he will advise the government to look into the same seriously, while contending that when no one goes to worship the place, it ceases to be a place of worship.
The court, however, said if faith of the people is involved little diversion in the route of the Setusamudram Canal, which will link Rameshwaram coast to Sri Lanka and is likely to reduce the navigation time considerably, is desirable.
The Supreme Court also suggested to the UoI to consider whether little diversion will be appropriate for the government ''scientifically, technically, economically and most important, politically.'' Earlier, counsel for the petitioners, who include former Union Minister Dr Subramanian Swamy and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha, concluded their arguments while seeking declaration from the Court that Ram Setu is a national heritage and therefore should not be demolished or destroyed.
According to the petitioner, eight alignments are available and the government is insisting on taking the route which will involve demolition of the Ram Setu without any justification and the Archaeological Survey of India has not caried out any scientific study till date to ascertain whether it is manmade or a natural formation.
UNI SC AKJ AS1551