Counsel for the Union Government F S Nariman said it is actively considering the suggestion and shall inform the court of its stand on the issue on July 29. The apex court had yesterday suggested the government to do some balancing act so that the faith of millions of people could be protected even if little damage had to be caused to biosphere in the area and that little diversion was always desirable in such circumstances.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal told the Centre that of 19 expert committees, appointed by various governments from time to time, 18 had suggested other alignments while only one committee. had suggested alignment six which would necessitate the demolition of Ram Setu to complete about Rs 2500 crores Sethusamudram project.
Yesterday, Mr Nariman had also made a reference to the 'Padam Purans' and 'Kamban Ramayan', written by a Tamil saint, where it has been said that though the Ram Setu was constructed by Lord Rama to reach Sri Lanka to free his wife Sita but the same was destroyed by him while he was returning after killing demon king Ravana and so, Ram Setu does not exist and therefore the government is not demolishing any bridge.
Ram Setu is 35-km long while the government is considering demolishing of only 300-m to construct the Sethusamudram canal to link the Rameshwaram coast of Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka.
Petioners are seeking declarations from the court that Ram Setu is a monument of national heritage and therefore it should not be destroyed as it would also render large number of fisherman without their source of livelihood.