New Delhi: The Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Friday that no damage will be done to the mythological Ram Sethu for its Sethusamudram Ship Channel project.
Clarifying its stand on the issue, the Centre said that it would refrain from touching the Ram Sethu in the "interest of the nation".
The Centre's submission to the top court was made by the Union Ministry of Shipping.
The Centre has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in Ram Setu case, in its affidavit the Centre said that it won't remove Ram Setu. Centre filed affidavit in connection with the plea filed by BJP's Subramanian Swamy.
— ANI (@ANI) March 16, 2018
In an affidavit, the Union Ministry of Shipping told an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the PIL filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against the Sethusamudram project can now be disposed off by taking note of its stand.
"That the government of India intends to explore an alternative to the earlier alignment of Sethusamudram Ship Channel project without affecting/damaging the Adam's Bridge/Ram Sethu in the interest of the nation," the affidavit filed by the ministry said.
Appearing on behalf of the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand said, ''the Centre has filed the response in pursuance of the earlier directions and the PIL can now be disposed off.''
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swamy had filed a PIL against the ship channel project and had sought direction to the Centre that the mythological Ram Sethu be not touched.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had earlier assured that Ram Sethu structure will not be demolished at any cost for the construction of Sethusamudram shipping canal project.
"Regarding Ram Sethu, we are very much committed that at any cost we will respect the feeling of the people. We will not demolish it," Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari had said at the Economic Editors Conference.
Replying to a query, the Minister said the "issue (Sethusamudram) is sub-judice."