Writ in Madras High Court to stop damaging Rama Setu, HC issues notices to the Centre Tuesday, May 15, 2007 (Dinamani) Translation by K from Tamil newspaper report. The High Court admitted the writ petition filed by Hindu Munnani to stop damaging Rama Setu while implemending the Setusamudram Channel Project. Judges of the High Court issued notices to Union Minister TR Baalu and to the Central Government to respond by May 20, 2007.
Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy had also filed a similar writ petition. His writ petition was also admitted. Hon’ble judges M. Jayapal and PR Shivakumar heard the petitions on Tuesday.On behalf of the Central Government, Additional Solicitor General VT Gopalan argued. He mentioned that a judgement has already been rendered on this issue by the High Court. He mentioned that after obtaining the opinions of coastal people, 800 petitions were examined. Near Rameswaram, the channel of 167 kms. length is to be established. In Palk straits, 54 kms. long channel has been dredged. Further 78 kms. length doe not require dredging because there is enough sea-depth. Dredging is still to be done for 35 kms. length channel. In this segment, there is an alternative available to cut a canal without damaging Rama Setu. The width of the Ramar Palam (Rama Setu) is only 3 kms. A slight realignment of the channel will be adequate. He said that this man-made structure of Rama Setu is the most ancient in the world. This heritage has to be protected. Injunction has to be issued to stop damaging Rama Setu. Subramanian Swamy appeared in person and argued the petition. He charged that there are plans to use blasting to destroy Rama Setu. The judges ruled that the writs will be admitted for hearing on May 29 and that notices be issued to Union Minister TR Baalu and to Central Government. Judges noted the demand made by Subramanian Swamy that the Government advocate should give an undertaking that Rama Setu will not be damaged. Denying this, the judges noted that within two weeks (that is, by May 29) such a large task cannot be carried out.