The Centre apprised the apex court that it would refrain from touching the Ram Sethu in the "interest of the nation", and that it will explore alternative routes to build the shipping canal project 'Sethasamudram'.
In an affidavit, the Union Ministry of Shipping told the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the PIL filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against the Sethusamudram project can now be disposed off by taking note of its stand.
"That the government of India intends to explore an alternative to the earlier alignment of Sethusamudram Ship Channel project without affecting/damaging the Adam's Bridge/Ram Sethu in the interest of the nation," the affidavit filed by the ministry said.
The Sethasasamudram project included a proposal to minimise a ship's travel by almost 650 kilometers, by making a canal in the Palk Strait, which would involve damaging the Ram Setu to an extent.
Believed by Hindus as a bridge made by Lord Rama's 'vanar sena' to rescue his kidnapped wife Sita, the 50 kilometers long limestone bridge was recently proved by the scientific community as being man-made and not naturally occurring.
Science Channel, as part of a promo for its show titled What on Earth, had interviewed an archaeologist who said, "The rocks on top of the sand actually pre-date the sand. So there is more to the story." (ANI)