Centre approves underwater study to ascertain origin of Ram Setu
New Delhi, Jan 25: The Centre has approved an underwater research project to determine how and when the Ram Setu was formed.
The study, which got approved last month, will be conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and National Institute of Oceanography Goa.
The study will also try to find out existence of any submerged habitations around Ram Setu.
Talking about the aim of the exploration, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, Prahlad Singh Patel, said, "The world should get to know about the Ram Setu through evidence based on scientific research."
The central advisory board on archaeology, which functions under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), has approved the proposal for this underwater exploration project.
The study is to be conducted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) Goa.
In it's proposal note, NIO said: "The historicity and the date of 'Ramayana' remain a debatable subject among historians, archaeologists and scientists. It is proposed to carry out scientific and underwater archaeological studies to understand the nature and formation of the Ram Setu and its surrounding area."
The agency's research vessel named Sindhu Sadhana will be deployed to collect samples of sediment from 35-40 metres below the water level. Sindhu Sadhana is an indigenous exploration vessel which can stay underwater for up to 45 days.
In 2005, the UPA government proposed the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project to build a shipping canal to link the Arabian Sea with the Bay of Bengal but the project was opposed by environmental groups as well as by the BJP as they said that the project would damage the Ram Setu.