Senior counsel Fali S Nariman, appearing for the Centre, produced the letter written by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar which said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appointed the panel headed by Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, Tata Energy Research Institute. The committee will submit its report to the government as early as possible.
Other Committee members comprise Dr T Chakrabarti, Mr S R Shelye, Dr S Kathiroli, Rear Admiral B R Rao and Mr P M Tajele, Director General of the Geological Survey of India. Mr Nariman was responding to the suggestion of a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal that the government should consider if an alternative route can be taken to save the 35-km-long Ram Setu.
Justice Raveendran also suggested that ''to safeguard the faith of the millions of people across the globe, a slight deviation, even if it causes a little damage to the biosphere, is desirable.'' The committee will consider all aspects -- environmental impact, geological feasibility, economic viability and also safety measures against natural calamities like tsunami, cyclones, earthquakes and others.