Government will not "break" 'Ram Sethu' for the proposed Sethusamudram shipping canal project and will make efforts to see that the navigation system is put in place without damaging it, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari informed Lok Sabha today.
Gadkari said during Question Hour that the matter is sub- judice and government has certain "alternatives" in mind and will tell the Supreme Court an option. He said it is the stand of the NDA government that the 'Ram Sethu', as the structure is known, will not be broken. There are different geological and religious theories behind the origin of the bridge.
It was the site of the proposed Sethusamudram shipping canal project for dredging the entire straits to make it navigable by large ships and create fishing and shipping harbours in the coastal areas as 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.
Responding to questions on waterways, Gadkari said government is planning a 'Jalmarg Yojna' in the near future for better development of National Waterways. He said while the cost per kilometer on travelling in a water way is 50 paisa, it is Re 1 by train and Rs 1.50 by road.