Sethusamudram Project

  • Sethu: Centre to seek vacation of stay

    It's for court to decide on alternative alignment for dredging The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Thursday cleared the government's affidavit to be filed in the Supreme Court on the controversial Sethusamudram project. The government has sought vacation of the stay on the implementation of the Sethusamudram project, Congress sources said. According to the sources, the government has presented the available scientific, technical and factual details on the project. It has maintained that no issue of faith was being touched upon in implementing the project. Buying time While leaving it to the court to take a view on the issue, the government has also left it open for the court to decide on an alternative alignment for dredging, for which first feasible studies would have to be conducted. In other words, this would enable the United Progressive Alliance government to buy time till after the general elections. On Wednesday, the Congress had officially declared that efforts were on to find a "balance' between "development' and "emotional sensitivities' with regard to the project.

  • Indian Govt wants to resume Sethu

    The Indian Government has decided to throw its weight behind the controversial Sethusamudram project. The Government will now ask the Supreme Court to lift its stay on the controversial project to dredge a shipping channel between India and Sri Lanka and dismiss petitions challenging the project. The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) met for the second time this week to arrive at a consensus on a 90-page draft affidavit stating its position on the project. The Centre will submit the affidavit in court today. The petitions had opposed the project saying it will damage the Ram Sethu, a cluster of sand formations that many Hindus believe was the bridge built by Lord Ram. The Centre's last affidavit had landed it in trouble as it questioned the existence of Ram. But under pressure from its southern allies, the Centre has decided to tell the court that it wants the project to continue on its original route. The CCPA seems to have taken everyone's point of view in the UPA coalition and managed to harmonise them. There have been differences between Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni and Shipping Minister DMK's T R Baalu over the affidavit. The culture minister has written a two-page note raising certain objections, and wanted these incorporated in the draft affidavit. The project was approved by the Government in May 2005. However, soon after its approval, the project had run into trouble, and dredging work had to be suspended. NDTV

  • Centre leaves it to top court

    The government has toed the line of Union culture minister Ambika Soni of leaving a decision on the Sethusamudram Project to the Supreme Court. The question at stake was whether the Ram Sethu was man-made or a natural formation. The government was in no position to take any position, since it had not conducted independent archaeological studies to arrive at any definitive conclusion. The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, finalised the affidavit to be filed by the government in the Supreme Court on the Sethusamudram Project. The CCPA was attended by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, Union power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Union culture min ister Ambika Soni, Union law minister H.R. Bhardwaj and Union shipping ,minister T.R. Baalu. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier set up a GoM headed by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, where the government response was formulated. The Union Cabinet secretary was then asked to draft the govern ment affidavit, with inputs from the Union culture secretary, Union shipping secretary and Union law secretary. The Supreme Court on January 31 had granted another four weeks of extension to the Centre to file affidavit by the first week of March. An affidavit on the issue filed by the government in September last that sparked a furore as it raised questions over existence of Lord Ram. Union culture minis ter Ambika Soni had ordered deletion of the controversial portions of the draft affidavit, before embarking on a visit of Japan. But the instructions were not carried out and the offensive portions ordered to be deleted were retained, triggering a controversy. Ms Ambka Soni ordered withdrawing of the affidavit and suspended two officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for gross negligence of duty.

  • Sethu project: government yet to finalise stand

    The Congress on Wednesday said the government was making efforts to find a "balanced' solution to the Sethusamudram project, though ultimately it would be the Supreme Court that would take a view on it. Sources in the party hinted at getting further studies done on finding an alternative

  • Baalu: Sethu in Nov. if top court gives nod

    The Sethusamu dram ship canal project could become operational by November this year depending on clearance by the Supreme Court, minister of shipping, road transport and highways T.R. Baalu told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. He said the government had constituted a committee of eminent persons on October 5, 2007 with the terms of reference to invite suggestions and objections if any from all concerned persons in the project. The minister said the committee had submitted its report to the government on November 29, 2007. The Sethusamudram project was approved by the government in May 2005. However, pursuant to orders passed by the Supreme Court on September 14, 2007, dredging work at Adam's Bridge area had been suspended. The committee was formed pursuant to the submissions made before the Supreme Court by the government counsel on September 14, 2007, in respect of certain transferred cases and writ petitions relating to the project.

  • Once bitten, now very very shy: UPA's draft affidavit wants SC to decide on Ram Sethu

    Singed by the political firestorm over its last affidavit on Ram Sethu in which it questioned Ram's existence, the UPA Government plans to pass the buck to the Supreme Court and take a dramatically different tack, as per its draft affidavit scheduled to be submitted to the Supreme Court early next month. The affidavit of the Archaeological Survey of India and the Culture Ministry

  • Give up Sethu project, says Togadia

    Vishwa Hindu Parishad international general secretary Pravin Togadia has warned of a nation-wide popular agitation if the Centre went ahead with the Sethu Samudram Ship Canal Project.

  • Experts urge White Paper on Sethusamudram

    Scientists and experts urged the Indian Government to table a White Paper in Parliament on the

  • Sethusamudram's financial woes

    Sethusamudram's financial woes

    <font class="UCASE">a controversy </font> is raging in the media over the financing of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project. Several news sources, quoting a bank in charge of securing loans for the project, said that the project "may never happen' since the costs have gone through the roof and the old loan terms have lapsed. When contacted by <i>Down To Earth</i>, the

  • Political project

    Until the second week of September, when both the ruling Congress and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suddenly discovered that the affidavit filed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the Supreme Court on the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project was controversial and hurt religious sentiments, the biggest political ripples created by

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