In an affidavit filed before the SC, the Centre said that it was not destroying the 'Ram Sethu" as no such bridge existed. Lord Ram himself had destroyed the bridge with a magical bow, the Centre said in the affidavit, quoting from the Tamil 'Kamban Ramayan". The government is only trying to build a channel through the Palk Bay to allow the direct passage of ships from the West Coast to the East Coast without going around Sri Lanka, the Centre added.
The Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, once complete, will translate into a saving of upto 424 nautical miles and upto 30 hours in ships" sailing time.
The project, which started in July 2004, ran into troubled waters when Hindu groups began protesting against the dredging across the Sethusamudram Canal, saying it would destroy the Ram Sethu, or Adam"s Bridge, believed to be the passage created by Lord Rama to rescue his wife from the hands of demon King Ravana in Sri Lanka.