Dr. Avnish Jolly, 26th July, 2008 :After raising the pitch by advocating the Ram Setu did not exist today, the Centre lowered its stake by telling the Supreme Court that it was not averse to examine the viability of alternatives to the present alignment and this was being considered at the highest level of the government.
Fali S Nariman, Senior advocate, who had taken the stand on last Wednesday reviving memories about the withdrawn affidavit doubting the existence of the Ramayana, Lord Ram and Ram Setu, opened his argument on Thursday by stating that the Centre was examining the suggestion of the apex court to explore alternatives.
There were many constraints but after considering all aspects, Alignment No 6 was selected with all possible precautions in place to protect the marine biodiversity as well as endangered animals, Nariman added.
Nariman also listed out six environment impact assessments conducted by the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) that for the first time in 2005 brought about consensus in the government on the present alignment. The arguments would continue on Tuesday.
Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal had on Wednesday said that till 2005 all 14 proposals, right from the 19th century, had never envisaged dredging of Ram Sethu. Hence, the government should try to balance between ‘faith’ and ‘logic’ by exploring alternatives.