Union cabinet to approve proposed new alignment for Sethusamudram project
The vexed Sethusamudram project, which proposes to provide a navigable shipping channel across the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka, could see the light of day with the Indian Centre set to clear an alternative route that avoids dredging through the Ram Setu.
Hindustan Times said that the Union cabinet will very shortly give its nod to the proposed new alignment, which will not damage the Ram Setu structure.
The project, which would considerably reduce the time and distance travelled by ships between India’s west and east coast had led to acrimonious exchanges between the Congress and the BJP during the UPA regime over the proposal to dredge through the Ram Setu - a bridge believed to have been built by Lord Ram - considered a cultural and religious heritage.
Environmentalists had also opposed the project on the ground that destruction of the bridge would lead to loss of a rich thorium reserve in that area.
The Sethusamundran Ship Canal Project will create a navigable channel connecting the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay by dredging the stretch of shallow sea between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.