New Delhi: BJP on Saturday warned the government against going ahead with the Sethusamudram project, saying the sentiments of crores of Hindus are attached to the issue and it will not tolerate any tampering with the Ram Setu.
"We would like to warn the government on the Ram Setu issue. It is ignoring the recommendations of the RK Pachauri Committee report and going ahead with the project. This is an issue related to Hindu sentiments and beliefs," party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said. The principal opposition party demanded scrapping of the project.
The Pachauri Committee, which submitted its report to the Supreme Court, has said the Sethusamudram shipping channel project is not viable on economic and ecological grounds. Government has rejected the report and maintained that it intends to pursue the project which will cut through the Adam's Bridge, popularly known as Ram Setu.
"BJP and the nation will not tolerate any tampering with the Ram Setu. Why is cutting through it the only solution?" Prasad asked. Asked about the government's contention that over Rs 800 crore has already been spent on the project, the BJP leader said it is not a question of what amount was spent but why this expenditure was incurred in the first place.
"Without the Ram Setu you cannot think of the Ramayana," Prasad said, adding that sentiments of crores of Hindu are attached to the issue. Ram Setu is the mythical bridge on which Lord Ram and his army crossed the sea to invade Ravan's kingdom.
BJP has always been opposed to the Sethusamudram project which envisages dredging of a shipping channel, proposed to be 30 m wide, 12 m deep and 167 km long, across the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka.