The Supreme Court has suspended the work on the Sethusamudram Canal Project for three months. As reported, the project work was going on in full swing since last one year, and almost 25% of the work is done. The dredging cost per day is about Rs 1.20 core with the five dredgers working for Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd. Five more were to be put in for dredging soon. And what the completion as planned would have meant? 3,055 vessels would have used the shorter route through the canal every year beginning 2008. The route would have saved 36 hours and 460 km for every vessel.
And what the government has done? The government has withdrawn the ASI affidavit, and suspended two erring ASI officials. Ram as the King would not have liked this anti-country, anti-people decision in his Ramrajya.
And what is the news from the BJP side? BJP has proclaimed its win. The grand old man Advani has secured his comeback. He is asking for the head of the Prime Minister and archrival Sonia Gandhi, though none is going to oblige him. BJP has got an issue to keep itself busy. The same BJP when in government got the feasibility study ordered in 2001 for a proposal conceived as early as 1860.
And why is Sonia’s Congress doing all this. Is it part of secularism or development politics? With her action on the affidavit, Sonia can now face the Hindu electorate and Modi boldly. Law Minister has affirmed the historicity of Ram in his attempt at damage control. The country can’t accept anything better from a sycophant. The culture minister, another Sonia’s friend has offered to resign (if Manmohan and Sonia ask her). She agreed to have suggested three changes to the ASI affidavit though one was omitted. She put her finger towards assistant solicitor general as solely responsible for the affidavit that created the stir. She has ordered an enquiry into the affidavit issue and sought a reply from the ASI chief. What more can she do to prove her innocence? As reported, Jairam Ramesh’s remarks in Kolkota that he would have owned up moral responsibility and quit if he had been in the place of the Culture Minister created a controversy in the ruling party. Is it not to divert the attention from the real issue? None talked of the loss to the national exchequer because of the suspension of the work.
It is unfortunate for the country. The politicians exploit and win over the sentiments of the poorly informed people of the country. Even in this 21st century, instead of telling the truth to them, they collect them for protest rallies and agitations for a nonexistent issue that can win their votes. They are the same people who hold up the work on expressways and other infrastructure projects for a temple and a grave turned overnight as a ‘mazar’ that requires to be dismantled for a cost effective alignment.
How does it matter even if the structure for the dredging is Ram built Setu and not a natural structure as so-called experts claim? What will be lost if the Project get through? After all the whole of the length will not be dug. The country can always preserve the rest. The Project can preserve the mythology better using a suitable nomenclature such as Ram Setu Canal for the posterity. Why can’t some grand architectural features built in the project that can make it famous world over?
I get really hurt, when I find the economy trying to boom getting slowed by such actions. One day the politicians hold up the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, the other day it is the suspension of a project such as Sethusamudaram. Everything gets referred to Supreme Court that takes its own time to give decision that again may not be universally accepted solving the problem.
And still we expect that India became a superpower soon and get heard on global forum.