New Delhi [India], July 10 (ANI): The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recommence the Sethu Samudram project work as soon as possible.
In the wake of the ongoing tensions with China, DMK leader TR Baalu wrote to PM Modi on behalf of the party urging him to take note of the "massive investments in vital sectors that China has made in Sri Lanka in the last few years so much so that it will endanger the sovereignty of the island neighbour, situated hardly 30 kilometre away from Tamil Nadu.""Chinese has pumped into Sri Lanka a whopping USD 7,048 million in huge projects comprising expressways, ports, realty projects, Colombo port city, Norocholai power stations, etc. Hambantota Port located in PM Mahindra Rajapakse's constituency, which is close to the international sea route on which thousands of container ships pass daily, has been taken over by China in 2017 as Sri Lanka defaulted on the loan of USD 1.1 billion given by China in 2010. These investments have made Sri Lankan people perceive that, as a friend and ally, China is more preferable than India. In such a scenario, we may not rule out Sri Lanka becoming another Nepal very soon," the letter read.
The DMK MP further said that in view of the "immense strategic, security value and maritime importance" the Centre should recommence the Sethu Samudram project work with wasting any more time on the "ship Channel route finalized by NEERI, a well-reputed Central government institution after a careful and independent study of all relevant aspects."Baalu also said that the aforementioned Channel route finalized by NEERI posed zero disturbance to the so-called Ramar Palam (Rama Setu) or Adam's Bridge.
"I must mention that 65 percent of the ships which presently call at our ports can navigate in the channel as per the present design," he further said.
The DMK leader said the Rs 2,400 crore Sethu Samudram project was inaugurated in 2005 but later "certain elements inimical to the national security and economic prosperity of India, schemed and misled the judiciary by invoking irrelevant and religious beliefs and succeeded in their designs to stall the prestigious Ship Channel Project activities."Through the letter, the DMK MP also raised the point that the Southern Tamil Nadu coast "especially the Adams Bridge and Sethu Samudram areas have immense geostrategic value as it is part of India's maritime strategic lifeline and the world's most important global sea lane." (ANI)