Rama Setu: Nation-wide agitation

Delhi, Nov. 13, 2007

 Statement of Dr. Subramanian Swamy 

The Union Government today told the Supreme Court that the report of the Committee of Eminent Persons on the Sethusamudram Channel Project was not ready and hence could not filed in court yet. Additional Solicitor General Mohan was interveninhg to make this clarification when Janata Party President Dr. Subramanian Swamy rose just before lunch before the First Bench headed by the Chief Justice. Dr. Swamy argued that the Rama Setu matter listed for today cannot be taken up because the Registrar’s Office Report disclosed that neither the new counter affidavit of the Union of India nor the paperbooks tranferred to the SC from the Madras High Court had been filed. The First Bench then adjourned the matter till December 11th.

Nation-wide agitation planned on Ram Sethu issue

Monday, 12 November, 2007, 15:49

Coimbatore: Rameswaram Ram Sethu Protection Movement on Monday said it would hold a nationwide agitation if the Centre failed to declare by November 30 that the Ram Sethu or Adam’s bridge would not be destroyed for implementing the Sethu Samudram Project.

The UPA government should also declare the bridge as a national monument, the movement convenor and working president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Vedantham said here.

Briefing reporters on the deliberations of the executive committee meeting of the movement’s Tamil Nadu chapter, held here on Sunday, Vedantham said that it was decided to hold ‘Ramshila Yatra,’ from November 20 to December 10 in all the districts in the country.

Stones and rock pieces would be collected from Rameswaram where it is believed that Lord Rama started building the ‘floating bridge’. These stones and rock pieces would be sent to the districts, to create awareness about the issue among the people, he said.

Alleging that ‘certain vested interests’ in Congress and DMK wanted to destroy the Ram Sethu in retaliation to the demolition of the disputed Babri Masjid structure in Ayodhya, to appease Muslim community, Vedantham cautioned that the Centre would be solely responsible and accountable for the violence in the aftermath of destruction of Ram Sethu.

When asked about the future course of action of the movement, he said Mutt heads and saints would meet at Ayodhya on Tuesday and also at Chennai on November 17, to discuss the strategy. Tamil Nadu would be the central point of the agitation, Vedantham said.

http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14559263

Monday, Nov. 12, 2007

Nation-wide agitation by Rameswaram Ram Sethu Protection Movement

Rameswaram Ram Sethu Protection Movement on Monday said it would hold a nation-wide agitation if the Centre failed to declare by November 30 that the Ram Sethu or Adam’s bridge would not be destroyed for implementing the Sethu Samudram Project.

The UPA government should also declare the bridge as a national monument, the movement convenor and working president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Vedantham said here.
Briefing reporters on the deliberations of the executive committee meeting of the movement’s Tamil Nadu chapter, held on Sunday, Vedantham said that it was decided to hold ‘Ramshila Yatra,’ from November 20 to December 10 in all the districts in the country.

Stones and rock pieces would be collected from Rameswaram where it is believed that Lord Rama started building the ‘floating bridge’. These stones and rock pieces would be sent to the districts, to create awareness about the issue among the people, he said.

http://enewsindia.blogspot.com/2007/11/nationa-wide-agitation-by-rameswaram.html

Centre criticized for excluding key experts from Sethu panel

Priyanka P. Narain (Oct. 23, 2007)

A motley group of scientists, politicians and fishermen have accused the government of bias, alleging that the committee formed to hear public grievances against the Sethusamudram project purposely excludes outside scientists and conservationists.

This came even as shipping minister T.R. Baalu reiterated the government’s commitment to the project and said he expects it to be completed by November 2008.

Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, for one, said he will file a petition in the Supreme Court, asking it to intervene in the committee appointments and ensure a fair hearing.

Swamy also plans to meet his former political rival, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader J. Jayalalithaa, to form an alliance against the controversial project to dredge the Adam’s Bridge, also known as Ram Sethu after the belief it was built by Ram.

“The panel is biased and all these public hearings are going to happen in Chennai,” said Swamy, who says he is on the same side as the local fishermen who can’t afford to travel all the way to Chennai to participate in the hearings. “It is being treated as a Tamil Nadu panel when it should be a national one.”

To address criticism of its plans to dredge the channel, the government appointed a 10-member panel of “eminent persons” to hold public hearings in early November.

While the panel includes bureaucrats, professors and academics, it does not include conservationists or scientists from organizations such as the National Institute of Ocean Technology or the Geological Survey of India (GSI), which usually play a key role in such public projects.

Critics say the head of the panel, S. Ramachandran, chairman of the project’s environmental impact committee and vice-chancellor of Madras University, is biased since he gave his clearance long ago. His phone rang unanswered on Monday.

The committee also includes the author of an environmental impact report that gave the green light to the project, though the critics might find an ally in him after all. Deputy director of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, S.R. Wate, said that when he wrote his report he was not aware of a rock bed on the Sethu.

If he had had that information, the institute would not have given the project environmental clearance, he told Mint last month.

“The region is a marine biosphere,” he said. “Any blasting will destroy…fragile ecology. We simply cannot risk it.” Wate did not return phone calls on Monday.

Another contentious member is R.S. Sharma, a historian and a former history professor at Delhi University, known for controversial statements questioning the historical existence of Ram and Krishna. Observers wonder why someone whose position is so well-known was selected.

director R. One scientist called the committee an “eyewash.” Former GSI Gopalakrishnan asked: “If you are looking at something that can be a national monument, doesn’t it make sense to have an archaeologist in there? There is no one from the navy to look at the security angle either.”

Some critics have claimed that the Rs2,600 crore project, backed by the Union government, opens India to attacks from nearby and war-torn Sri Lanka.

National secretary for the Rameshwaram Ram Sethu Protection Movement, R. Kuppu Ramu, says the fishermen, who stand to be the most affected by the loss of the bridge, are unaware of the committee. “Even if they were, how do you think they will reach Chennai? The committee must come here to talk to them,” he said.

According to the Sethusamudram project website, the previous “public hearings” were conducted in six districts between September 2004 and February 2005.

All were conducted by district collectors, unlike teams usually assembled from outside, to avoid the appearance of a bias, according to one IAS officer who requested anonymity.

The process employed was “very unusual for a national project like this one,” the officer said.

The Supreme Court has halted dredging on the bridge; the Sethusamudram Corp. Ltd website says dredging in the Palk Straits is nearly half done, with a quarter done north of the bridge.

http://www.livemint.com/2007/10/23001646/Centre-criticized-for-excludin.html

FM gives assurance on Sethu
Right Direction

New Delhi, Nov. 12: Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the government would go ahead with the Sethusamudram project.

“There is no reason to believe that the project will not be implemented,” he said at the Economic Editors conference.

The project was opposed by the BJP and other Sangh organisations on the ground that it would destroy the bridge built by Lord Rama.

Chidambaram said the objections filed before the courts were against the alignment of a part of the channel.

A public interest litigation has been filed before the Supreme Court, which has asked the government to look into the alignment issue.

“A ten member expert committee has been appointed by the government and the alignment issue will be resolved and the project will be implemented,” he said.

The finance minister’s comment will be sweet music for the DMK, an ally of the Congress-led coalition government. The DMK had demanded that the Centre should go ahead with the project.

Earlier sources said the experts committee received about 20,000 representations, mostly in favour of the project, during the public hearing held in Chennai from October 29 to November 6.

The panel will submit its report to the Centre in the first week of December. Besides the public hearing, the panel also listened to the views of litigants who had moved the Supreme Court against the demolition of the Ram Sethu.

Those who were opposed to the project raised issues such as environmental impact and dredging of the bridge. However, those in favour felt the project would lead to employment generation and an all-round development of coastal Tamil Nadu, the sources added.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1071113/asp/business/story_8541252.asp

3 Responses to Rama Setu: Nation-wide agitation

  1. […] kalyan97 added an interesting post today on Nation-wide agitation planned on Ram Sethu issue Monday, 12 ….Here’s a small reading:Stones and rock pieces would be collected from Rameswaram where it is believed that Lord Rama started building the ‘floating bridge’. These stones and rock pieces would be sent to the districts, to create awareness about the issue among … […]

  2. […] Setu: Nation-wide agitation https://kalyan97.wordpress.com/2007/11/12/1244/Delhi , Nov. 13, 2007Statement of Dr. Subramanian Swamy The Union Government today told the Supreme […]

  3. The Rama Sethu also known as Adam’s Bridge if destroyed will drastically change the environment and ecology of South India.During the December,2004 Tsunnami Kerala was saved and the intensity of the Tsunnami was reduced on Tamilnadu by the Rama Sethu.

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