6-member committee to review Ram Setu

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New Delhi, Jul 30: The Centre on Wenesday, July 30 informed the Supreme Court that it has constituted a 6-member committee to consider the issue of taking an alternative route to spare Ram Setu, also called Adam's Bridge, from being destroyed while completing the Sethusamudram Canal project.

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.


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