The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre to continue work on the abandoned Sethusamudram project without any further delays. Moving the resolution, Chief Minister MK Stalin said that the project was essential for the economic development of Tamil Nadu and the country.
“Due to political reasons, BJP opposed Sethusamudram Project. Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa, was in favour of this project but suddenly changed her stand and filed a case against it,” the CM said, adding that the DMK government is strongly in favour of the Centre restarting the project without any delay.
“The Sethusamudram Project is essential to strengthening the economic development of Tamil Nadu and India. This great project was originally conceived in the year 1860 by Commander Taylor at a cost of Rs 50 lakh,” Stalin said, moving the resolution in the Tamil Nadu assembly.
He further reminded the Assembly that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had agreed to conduct a feasibility study of the project during the rule of the then NDA government.
Making a strong case for restarting the project, the Chief Minister highlighted the economic gains that the project will yield towards uplifting the state’s economy. He further asserted that the project will ensure job opportunities for the youth in the southern districts of the state.
In 2007, former Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy moved the Supreme Court challenging the implementation of the project, arguing that it will have an adverse impact on the Ram Setu. His plea seeking directions to the Centre to declare the Ram Setu a national heritage monument is currently pending in Supreme Court.
On Thursday, the top court granted time to the central government to file its response in the plea by the first week of next month and posted the matter for hearing in the second week of February.