Know the controversies about Ram Setu - The Adam's bridge
Ram Sethu, also known as Sethusamudram and Adam’s Bridge is a stretch of limestone shoals that runs from Pamban Island near Rameshwaram in South India to Mannar Island off the northern coast of Sri Lanka.
It formed part of a land bridge that joined Sri Lanka to the continent of Asia during the last ice age.
Hindu believers hold it as the structure that Lord Rama and his army of apes and monkeys built to reach demon king Ravana’s Lanka.
There are different geological and religious theories behind the origin of the bridge, one of which even says that Sri Lanka was a part of Indian landmass and that the calcareous rectangular blocks are testimony of Lanka breaking away from the mainland about 1,25,000 years ago.
It was the site of the proposed Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project by the Government of India for dredging the entire straits to make it navigable by large ships and create fishing and shipping harbours in the coastal areas because today, ships bound for India’s eastern coast have to circle around the entire island of Sri Lanka to reach Tuticorin, Chennai, Vizag, Paradip and other ports.
It has been claimed that that the successful completion of the project would cut travelling by about 350 nautical miles and will save 10 to 30 hours’ sailing time.
It will bring down shipping costs and add to India’s exchequer in the form of transit fees.
As the Hindu believers hold it as the structure that Lord Rama and his army of apes and monkeys built thus because of this religious belief, the project has been condemned and opposed by a wide spectrum of the Indian people.
Environmentalists claims that completion of this project would destroy and destabilise the flora and fauna of the in the nearby locations.
They have also claimed that most modern ships carry much higher loads but only ships with tonnage up to 30,000 tonnes would be able to use the canal.
Janata Party chief Subramaniam Swamy filed a petition in Supreme Court asking the Apex Court to order the government to declare Ram Sethu a national monument as it was a matter of faith.
Swamy had alleged that Transport Minister Baalu’s family members had business interests in both fishing and shipping sectors, and the building of a shorter sea route around India’s southern peninsula would greatly benefit them.
Later in 2013 Tamil Nadu government has urged the Supreme Court to direct the central government not to proceed with the implementation of the Project.
The state government said that shipping channel project was not in public interest.
The affidavit filed by the state government urged the apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar to direct the centre to declare Rama Sethu as a national monument and stay away from currying out any activity which may affect it.
DMK has to stage a state wide protest on Ram Setu this month and Justice Dattu and Justice Khehar directed the listing of the matter for final hearing in August.
Justice Dattu and Justice Khehar directed the listing of the matter for final hearing in August.
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