‘Sethu project will affect Mannar biosphere’

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard inconclusive arguments on the Ramar Sethu issue.As soon as the hearing commenced, Roxena Swamy , wife of Subramanian Swamy , told a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justice R V Raveendran and Justice J M Panchal that the orders of the Madras High Court with regard to an archaeological study on the Ramar Sethu were not complied with.Senior counsel K K Venugopal, ap pearing for one of the petitioners, also stated that the apex court had in an oral direction asked the Centre to find out whether an alternative route could be possible.Venugopal felt that it was a contempt of court. “The respondents want the stay vacated. Cannot they wait for three weeks,” he questioned and sought adjournment of the matter by three weeks.Justice Raveendran queried, “You want stay for that reason or any other reason?” obliquely referring to the trust vote pending for the evening.The Chief Justice remarked, “This court is concerned only with the review of administrative action.” Senior counsel Fali S Nariman, appearing for the Centre, said that he would argue on the issue when his turn came.Krishnan Venugopal, appearing for one of the petitioners, argued till 4 pm on the environmental aspects of the Sethusamudram project.He dwelt at length on the adverse effects it would have on the Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve. He also brought to the notice of the court the NEERI report on the impact of dredging and controlled blasting on the wildlife and the flora and fauna.
Wednesday July 23 2008 08:20 IST
Prabhakar Rao Voruganti ENS
www.newindpress.com

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