Union Minister for Shipping T R Baalu on Monday said that he would "even quit" his ministership, if it was scientifically proven and if National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the US says that the Ramar Sethu was a man-made structure.
Talking to reporters in Madurai, he said some 'fundamental' organisations have claimed that NASA had taken the picture of Ramar Sethu and had said that it was a man-made structure.
"If it was scientifically proved and NASA said it was man-made, then I will quit", he said. He reiterated that the government never wanted to hurt the sentiments of the Hindus as alleged by the BJP and denied that Ramar sethu was a man-made structure.
"I have proved the same with various documents during the debate at the Parliament". The Geological Survey of India, which was asked to study the Ramar Sethu by former Union minister Uma Bharati, found that the so-called bridge-like structure was a natural formation and was just four or five lakh years old, whereas Rama was believed to have born 17 lakh years ago.
He said the government was prepared to face the court cases on the Ramar Sethu issue. The objections or protests would not have any impact on the implementation of the ongoing Sethusamudram Shipping Channel project.
He exuded confidence that the project would be completed in 2008. However, the completion of the project as per schedule would depend on availability of dredging vessels. The tender quoted by the foreign dredgers was very high and the Government was studying various options.
Meanwhile, some of the dredging machines of the Dredging Corporation of India, working for the project, have been recalled.
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