Karuna slams Jaya for opposing Sethusamudram project

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Tamil Nadu
Chennai, May 1: Slamming Tamil Nadu Government for opposing Sethusamundram project, DMK President M Karunanidhi repeated his charge that ruling AIADMK took such a stand as it did not want his party to take credit for the multi-million rupee initiative.

In a letter to partymen, Karunanidhi listed out the advantages of implementing the project envisaging creation of a shorter shipping channel in Palk Strait such as significant decrease in the travel time of big ships and said various studies since 1955 had argued the project was feasible.

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) had said that route number 6 which involves the contentious Adam's Bridge or Ram Sethu was best suited for the project, he said adding various studies showed there was no scientific evidence to prove the existence of a man-made structure in the sea.

Karunanidhi recalled that in its election manifestos for the 2001 Assembly elections and 2004 Parliamentary polls, AIADMK had argued for the project. "What is the reason for (Chief Minister) Jayalalithaa describing it as Ram Sethu now?" he asked while recalling that the during the AIADMK Government headed by M G Ramachandran in 1986, Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a resolution demanding implementation of the project.

"The project launched by DMK's T R Baalu (as Shipping Minister) was progressing well. With Rs 829 crore invested (so far), the AIADMK government has filed an affidavit in Supreme Court thinking DMK will get credit," he alleged.

Sethusamudram project is aimed at constructing a shorter navigational route around India's southern tip by breaching the Ram Sethu, said to have been built by Lord Rama's army of monkeys and bears to reach Ravana's kingdom Lanka.

Tamil Nadu government yesterday pleaded with the Supreme Court that the project be scrapped as it would adversely affect marine biodiversity and the Centre be directed to declare Ram Sethu as a national monument.

PTI

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