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Ram Sethu: SC seeks report on alternative route

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Centre to place before it the report of Prime Minister-appointed expert panel on the feasibility of building an alternative shipping channel.



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed
the Centre to place before it the report of Prime Minister-
appointed expert panel on the feasibility of building an
alternative shipping channel through Dhanuskodi instead of Ram
Sethu around the country`s southern tip.

A bench comprising justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad also
asked the government to supply the report of the panel, headed
by noted environmentalist R K Pachauri, to the various parties
for and against building of navigational sea route around the
country`s southern peninsula.

The court posted the matter for considering the report on
March 23.

The six-member panel headed by Pachauri had been formed in
July 2008 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to find a solution
to the controversy over the Rs-2,240 crore Sethu Samudram
Shipping Channel Project (SSCP).

SSCP proposes linking Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar between
India and Sri Lanka by creating a shipping channel through the
shallow sea and a chain of islands known as `Ramar Sethu` and
Adam`s Bridge.

The project was flagged off in 2005 but later met
opposition following a decision to dredge `Ramasethu`,
believed to have been constructed by Lord Ram to cross to Sri
Lanka.

A number of petitions, some of them transferred from
Madras High Court to the apex court, have objected to the
project on the ground of environmental concerns.

On April 21, 2010, the Supreme Court had put a virtual
stop to SSCP, saying it would await a "full and comprehensive"
Environmental Impact Analysis on feasibility of an alternative
route through Dhanuskodi instead of Ram Sethu.

PTI

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