Setu: Govt to go ahead with project — CCPA

Govt to go ahead with Sethu project

Sunil Prabhu

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 (New Delhi)

Under pressure from its southern allies the government on Tuesday in a draft affidavit said it wants the project to go ahead, but a final decision will be taken the day after tomorrow.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on Tuesday agreed upon a draft affidavit that says the project to dredge a shipping canal between India and Sri Lanka should go ahead without any change in alignment.

The draft also asks the court to vacate its stay on the project and dismiss a petition that said the project would harm the Ram Sethu.
According to sources, the culture ministry’s objections in the meeting were overruled because no scientific exploration has been done to establish whether the Ram Sethu is natural or manmade.

The government has to submit the affidavit in Supreme Court by March 5.

Centre plays balancing act in new Ram Setu affidavit

SETU DEBATE : The Centre is expected to submit a new affidavit on Ram Setu before the SC by March 14.

New Delhi: The Union Government has finally decided to delete the objectionable portions from the affidavit on the Ram Setu project in a move aimed at addressing the concerns of key constituent DMK without hurting Hindu sentiments.


The government is expected to submit the new affidavit before the Supreme Court by March 14.


At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the government circulated a draft copy of the affidavit to its allies. The final version of the affidavit will be prepared only later this week after the Cabinet meets again.


The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, met on Tuesday to take a view on the affidavit after the Group of Ministers on the issue failed to reach any conclusion on Monday.


A CCPA will meet again to consider the issue after all the constituent parties have had their say on the same.


Sources said the new affidavit, which needs to be filed before the apex court by next month, would be ‘secular’ in nature without disturbing the proposed alignment of the shipping project in the Palk Straits.


Unlike the last time when the government had referred to issues like Lord Ram in the affidavit creating a controversy, the present one would consciously avoid any such references.


The government had been forced to withdraw the earlier affidavit, which had said that Ram was a mythical character. The government had asked the Supreme Court for an extension in the deadline to file a fresh affidavit.


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