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