Gov to clarify its stand on Ram setu tomorrow

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New Delhi, Jul 28 (UNI) The Union Government will clarify tomorrow its stand before the Supreme Court on the fate of Ram Setu.

Senior Counsel F S Nariman had last week informed the three judge bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal that the Union Government was actively considering the suggestion of the Supreme Court to explore the possibility of taking some other route/allignment to save Ram Setu, also known as Adam's Bridge from being demolished. He had also told the court that the Government would clarify its stand on the issue on July 29.

The apex court had told the government that in-all eight allignments are there, which can be used to complete Rs 2500 crore Sethusamudram Canal Project without touching the 35 km long Ram Setu.

Justice Raveendran had also told the Government that little deviation from allignment six and a small damage to biosphere was desirable if it was necessary to protect the faith of millions of people.

Earlier the government had contended that according to Padma Purana and Kamban Ramayana, the Tamil version of Ramayana, have mentioned that Ram Setu was destroyed by Lord Ram himself while returning from Sri Lanka.

The claim of the government has been hotly contested and denied by religious scholars that there is no such mention in any of the holy scriptures.

Petitioners, which include former Union Minister Subramanium Swamy and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, are however, seeking declaration from the apex court that Ram Setu is a monument of national heritage and therefore cannot be destroyed.

The apex court has already restrained the authorities from damaging Ram Setu in any manner while carrying out the dredging activity.

Union Shipping and Road Transport Minister T R Baalu and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi are facing contempt of court proceedings for backing Tamil Nadu bandh on October 1 last year, in violation of the Supreme Court order.

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