Tamil Nadu CM Stalin passes resolution for Sethusamudram project; BJP’s surprising move


oi-Prakash KL


Google Oneindia News

Chennai, Jan 12: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday moved a resolution regarding Sethusamudram project in the state assembly.

“If the Sethusamudram project is accomplished, more than 50,000 people would get employment. This was pointed out by our former CM Kalaignar Karunanidhi,” ANI quotes Tamil Nadu Chief Minister as saying.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin

The DMK president said that it was a dream project of Tamil Nadu’s political stalwarts like Annadurai and M Karunanidhi. “Sethusamudram is Anna and Kalaingar’s dream project. Under the BJP government, only one waterway of the Sethusamudram project has been planned so far. The Prime Minister at the time (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) allocated funds for developing this waterway. It is only because of political reasons that the BJP opposed the Sethusamudram project. Then CM Jayalalitha was in favour of the Sethusamudram project but, all of a sudden, she, too, changed her stand and filed a case against the project.”

Although CM accused the BJP of putting the project on the back burner, the surprising support came from Nayinar Nagendharan who batted for the Sethisamudram project. He said, “We worship Ramar (Lord Ram). There should not be any damage to Ramar Bridge as Lord Ram had set foot in it. We support this resolution.”

“The Union Government has already shared details of where and how the Sethusamudram project could be implemented in Parliament. We never said the project cannot be implemented. I would be happy if the Sethusamudram project is implemented as I belong to the south of Tamil Nadu,” the BJP leader added.

Stalin had recently said that Sethusamudram project boosts the economy of the state while reducing the travel time of bigger ships.

Ram Setu is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.

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However, the Sethusamudram shipping channel project has been facing protests from some political parties, environmentalists and certain Hindu religious groups. Under the project, a 83 km-long deep water channel was to be created, linking Mannar with Palk Strait, by extensive dredging and removal of limestone shoals.

On the other hand, Subramanian Swamy’s plea on seeking direction to the government to declare ‘Ram Setu’ as a national heritage monument came up for hearing on Thursday and the Centre sought time till February first week to file its response.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha granted time to the government to file a reply to the plea and posted the matter for hearing in the second week of February. The Chief Justice told the SG, who was present in court, “Mr Solicitor, Mr. Swamy is saying you have not kept your commitment to file the counter in the Ram Setu matter.” The Solicitor General replied that the issue is under consideration and discussion is going on. The response will be filed and asked the bench to keep the matter for hearing in February’s first week, he added.

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