New Delhi: Hundreds of activists from the youth wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday began a 24-hour hunger strike to demand implementation of the Sethusamudram project, the shipping channel to link India`s eastern and western coasts to avoid a 785-km detour around Sri Lanka.
CPI-M politburo member Brinda Karat inaugurated the hunger strike organised by the Democratic Youth Federation of India`s (DYFI) Tamil Nadu state unit at Jantar Mantar here.
Karat asked the central government to implement the project "without delay".
The DYFI said 500 youths are participating in the hunger strike.
The Rs.242.7 billion (USD 6 billion) Sethusamudram project plans to provide ships sailing between the east and west coasts of the country with a continuous navigable sea-route through India`s territorial waters.
The project is facing opposition on environmental grounds. There is fear that the channel may result in tsunami waves hitting Tamil Nadu and Kerala more fiercely.
The dredging of Ram Sethu, a mythological bridge built by Lord Ram in the Palk Strait, has been opposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party.