The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the government a final opportunity to place a report of the Prime Minister-appointed expert panel on the feasibility of building an alternative shipping channel through Dhanuskodi instead of Ram Sethu around the countrys southern tip.
A Bench of Justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad asked the government to give the report of the panel,headed by noted environmentalist R K Pachauri,to various parties for and against building of navigational sea route around the southern peninsula. The court has scheduled the matter for considering the report on March 23.
The six-member expert panel was set up in July 2008 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to find a solution to the controversy over the Rs 2,240 crore Sethu Samudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP).
The SSCP proposes linking Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka by creating a shipping channel through the shallow sea and a chain of islands known as Ramar Sethu and Adams Bridge.
The project was flagged off in 2005 but later met opposition following a decision to dredge Ramasethu,believed to have been constructed by Lord Ram to cross to Sri Lanka.
On April 21,2010,the Supreme Court had put a virtual stop to the SSCP,saying it would await a full and comprehensive environmental impact analysis on feasibility of an alternative route through Dhanuskodi instead of Ram Sethu.