Subramanian Swamy’s poser to PM Modi: Why the delay in declaring Ram Setu a national heritage monument?

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New Delhi | January 3, 2019 4:00 PM

Ram Setu holds special importance to Hindus as in the epic Ramayana, it was constructed by the 'Vanara army' to rescue Sita who was being held captive by Ravana.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy today questioned the central government over the delay in declaring Ram Setu as a national heritage monument.

Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Swami wrote: “Why is the Namo Govt resisting or delaying Ram Setu being recognised as a National Heritage Monument under Section 2 of the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Remains & Sites Act ( 1958) despite SC Notice to Govt on my WP of 2007(sic)?”

Ram Setu, also known as Adam’s bridge, is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban or Rameswaram Island off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu and Mannar Island on the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.

It holds special importance to Hindus as in the epic Ramayana, the Rama Setu (Adam’s Bridge) was constructed by the ‘Vanara army’ to rescue Sita who was being held captive by Ravana.

Swamy had written a letter to Prime Minister’s Office to declare Ram Setu as a National Heritage Monument but the Government of India is yet to make an announcement on this. A petition filed by him is currently pending in Supreme Court.

As per the letter retweeted by Rajya Sabha MP, the Ministry of Culture has informed that they are waiting for the approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Swamy then put up the question on delay directly to PM Modi.

The BJP leader had earlier demanded that Ram Setu be declared as a national monument in his PIL against the controversial Sethusamudram Ship Channel project initiated by the UPA-I government. The issue reached the apex court and in the year 2007, and work on the project was stayed.

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Besides political parties, the controversial Sethusamudram Ship Channel project has evoked sharp protests from many environmentalists as well. The project involves an 83 km-long deep water channel to be built and linking Mannar with Palk Strait. This will involve extensive dredging and removal of the limestone shoals.

The apex court had on November 13, 2017 given six weeks to the government to clear its stand on the Ram Setu. It had also told Swamy that he was free to approach the court if the Centre’s response was not filed.

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