PM should declare Ram Setu a national monument: Shakaracharya

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Jamshedpur, Nov 5 (UNI) Praising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for declaring the Ganga as a national river, Shankaracharya of Dwarkapeeth Swami Swarupanand Saraswati today demanded that Ram Setu be also accorded a national status.

The seer also opposed the idea of interlinking major rivers of the country and claimed that it might lead to a dangerous situation.

Addressing a news conference here, he said Dr Singh has immortalised himself by declaring the Ganga as a national river.

''History will remember him (Dr Singh) for ever,'' the seer said.

This declaration should not be seen as something to do with the coming Assembly elections, the Shankaracharya declared.

''Dr Singh is a very apolitical and religious person. He has made the declaration even before I expected since during our last meeting on this issue he had only assured us to put this matter before the Cabinet.

''I praise him and welcome this step.'' Now, steps should be taken to prevent the proposed breaking of Ram Setu and it should be declared a national monument, he demanded.

The Shankaracharya also opposed the ambitious project to interlink the rivers. '' Every river is unique and has its own way of flowing. They should not be interlinked. It is also not possible to link them. If at all the Ganga is linked with Brahmaputra, there would be dangerous floods in the plains of the holy river,'' the religious leader noted.

Asking for immediate stopping of thirty-five big dam projects over Alaknanada and and six over Bhagirathi, he also advised that to prevent the Ganga from becoming dry, small check dams should be constructed instead of bigger ones.

UNI RAJ PC ATI NS1919

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