Centre to put Sethu on hold?

published on January 13, 2008

Scrap the Setu channel project
Dr.Subramanian Swamy’s letter to the Prime Minster

January 7, 2008
Dr.Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister
South Block
New Delhi 110011.

Dear Manmohanji:

I learn from a media report that you are being apprised of the draft counter affidavit to be filed in the Supreme Court in my Writ Petition on the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project. In an earlier hearing of the Court, my prayer for injunction against the demolition or damaging of the Rama Setu, while dredging, was granted.

Your Government’s earlier counter affidavit rubbishing Bhagwan Sri Rama and the Ramayana was also withdrawn. An assurance in writing was then given by the Government’s counsel that an amicable way would be found after due consultation with the petitioners, and a fresh counter affidavit would be filed.

If indeed media reports on your interest in the matter are correct, then I urge you to take an active lead to find an amicable way out which would entail not touching the Rama Setu. If indeed Rama Setu is to be regarded as a national heritage and an inalienable site of Hindu reverence and faith, the Rama Setu cannot be then touched since it will be entitled to be fully protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites & Remains Act (1958).

Hence, it would be appropriate that, and a proper way, if the claim of all Hindus on the Rama Setu site is researched by the newly proposed National Heritage Commission that is to be set up soon according to un-contradicted media reports. Till then your Government may adhere to the status quo on the Rama Setu matter. Your Government’s counsels may then ask for an adjournment on January 16th when the case is to be listed. I am taking this cooperative approach because my petition is in the nature and form of a PIL and hence non-adversarial. Please therefore do not permit divisive actions for a project which is economically unsound, environmentally disastrous and national security-wise risky. You may have seen Prof.T.A.D.Murthy’s paper submitted to the Indian Science Congress presently in session in Vishakapatnam wherein he has warned of dire consequences from the next Tsunami if Rama Setu is breached.

The SSCP is a foolish venture doomed to failure. Do not allow your reputation sink with it. I am enclosing a copy of a letter dated April 8, 1999 of the Ministry of Environment to the Ministry of Surface Transport urging the scrapping of the Project.

Warm Regards,
Yours sincerely,

(SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY)

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