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.