The historic Ram Setu (or Adam’s Bridge) will not be demolished to make way for the Sethusamudram Project.
“Regarding Ram Setu, we are very much committed that at any cost we will respect the feeling of the people. We will not demolish it,” Union shipping and highway minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.
He said that the Cabinet will take a call on any of the six options for the project, which will not have an impact on the Ram Setu.
The Ram Setu is a natural bridge made of limestone shoals that connects Pamban in Tamil Nadu, India, to Mannar in Sri Lanka. The mention of this bridge was first made in Ramayana. Lord Rama is believed to have crossed this bridge to reach Lanka and rescue his wife Sita who was held captive by Ravana.
Centuries ago the bridge was much above the sea level.
The Sethusamudram Project was designed by the previous UPA government, which was adamant upon destroying the Ram Setu to make way for shipping lanes.
In 2013, the Congress-led UPA government ignored the objections raised by Tamil Nadu government regarding the project. The state government had told the Centre that the construction of a shipping channel would destroy the biodiversity in the region. They had also asked the Centre to declare the Ram Setu a national monument.
In 2015, Subramanian Swamy had told the Supreme Court that the government will not touch the Ram Setu.