BJP reiterates opposition to Sethusamudram

via IANS published on June 26, 2007

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday reiterated its opposition to the ambitious Sethusamudram project to develop a shipping canal that it fears will damage an ancient bridge mentioned in Hindu epic Ramayana.

The BJP national executive, which began its two-day meeting here, took up the Sethusamudram issue on a priority basis immediately after party president Rajnath Singh delivered his address.

Kalyan Raman, an expert, gave a presentation on this issue, party spokesman Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

The spokesman said the project will adversely affect ecological balance, wash away thorium and titanium deposits, make Indian coasts more vulnerable to tsunami, destroy a piece of heritage and hurt religious sentiments of millions of Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

The project involves dredging a 167-km canal across the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka to allow ships travelling between eastern and western coasts of India a direct passage through Indian waters rather than circumnavigating Sri Lanka.

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