Saturday, February 16, 2008

Baalu not ready to wait for Sethusamudram survey

New Delhi (PTI): The Shipping Ministry has decided to go ahead with the Sethusamudram project without waiting for an archaeological survey even as differences within the government on the issue persist.

At a meeting of the Group of Ministers, Shipping Minister T R Baalu is understood to have pressed for giving the controversial project the green signal without waiting for the survey as favoured by the Culture Ministry.

Culture Minister Ambika Soni is in favour of a detailed archaeological survey as per international norms before taking any decision on the project which is being opposed by Hindu groups.

The Supreme Court on January 31 granted another four weeks extention to the Centre to file affidavits related to the Sethusamudram project.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan accepted the request of Additional Solicitor-General R Mohan that the two-weeks' time granted to the Centre on Janaury 16 to file the affidavits be extended by four weeks and posted the matter for hearing in the first week of March.

Due to differences, the GoM constituted to finalise Centre's stand on the project could not reach any conclusion.

Besides Soni and Baalu, the GoM is comprised of Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal and Law Minister HR Bhardwaj.

The Hindu reports

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