NEW DELHI: In line with BJP-led government's stand not to demolish 'Ram Sethu', the government is in the process of exploring an alternative route for the launch of Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP).
"We are in the process of exploring an alternate route for SSCP through Pamban Pass without affecting Ram Sethu/Adam's Bridge," an Shipping Ministry official said.
The official said Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), which was assigned the task of a study on alternate route, has submitted a report in this regard with several options.
"We are studying the report," the official said.
Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had recently said that the question of demolishing 'Ram Sethu' for implementing SSCP did not arise.
In November, the Minister has inspected the area by air in a Coast Guard aircraft and through sea by hovercraft.
The SSCP project, which envisages dredging a ship channel across Palk Straits, providing a shorter navigational route for ships from east and west coasts of the country instead of circumventing Sri Lanka, has hit a block after protests over the proposed demolition of Ram Sethu.
BJP government after coming to power has made it clear that Ram Sethu structure would not be demolished.
The Tamil Nadu Government has opposed the project on the ground that it would affect the livelihood of fishermen.
Once the project is implemented it would result in India getting a continuous navigable route within its territorial waters.