The DMK will ensure that the Sethusamudram project is implemented, said the party’s Coimbatore district secretary and former Minister Pongalur N. Palanisamy.
Addressing 2,000-and-odd activists of the party in Gandhipuram on Monday, he said that the party would surmount all odds to implement the scheme.
The DMK was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA on the condition that the Sethusamudram scheme would be implemented. The then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and Home Minister L.K. Advani had given their consent for the implementation of the scheme.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa changed her stand with the political situation.
On two occasions, Ms. Jayalalithaa had voiced her support for the implementation of the scheme. But later she chose to oppose the scheme.
Now her party, the AIADMK, and the BJP were opposing the project stating that the bridge there was constructed by Lord Ram. Their stand was with an eye on the 2014 General Elections, he said and predicted that the two would forge an alliance.
M. Ramanathan, K.R. Subbaian, and M. Kannappan, all former MPs; former Deputy Mayor N. Karthik; DMK’s urban district secretary Veera Gopal; and others participated.
In Tirupur the party staged a demonstration in the city on Monday. DMK district secretary and former Minister M.P. Saminathan said that the project would help ships travelling between the east and west coasts of India to avoid circumventing Sri Lanka and thereby, save time and cost in transportation.
According to the statistics released by Sethusamudram Corporation Limited, the straight passage through Indian territorial waters avoiding the conventional travel around Sri Lanka could save up to 780km (424 nautical miles) and up to 30 hours in commuting time.
For the development of coastal areas, the Sethusamudram Corporation Limited had even initiated coastal community development programme under the project in 328 villages.