New Delhi, July 30 : The Centre told the Supreme Court today that it is seriously considering the possibility of pushing the Sethusamudram shipping canal project through an alternative alignment to avoid any damage to the Ram Sethu.
Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman told the bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan about the government's view.
Nariman told the bench that he had received a letter from the Prime Minister on the suggestion put forward by the apex court on the issue of exploring the possibility of an alternative alignment between Dhanushkodi and Rameshwaram Island.
The letter said: "The suggestion of Supreme Court for alternative alignment including a canal cutting through the portion between Dhanushkodi and Land End on Rameshwaram Island has been given serious consideration by the government."
The Court was informed that PMO has decided to set up an expert committee headed by noted scientist R K Pachauri, Director General of Tata Energy Research Institute, to look into the suggestion.
The Committee has been asked to submit its report as quickly as possible.
The letter also said: "The Committee will quickly examine the feasibility of the alternative alignment suggested by the Supreme Court for the Sethusamudram shipping canal project between Dhanushkodi and Land End on Rameshwaram island keeping in view the technical aspects, cost benefit analysis, social and cultural impact, environmental impact, law and order aspects and any other related matter."