The Bench posted the matter for further hearing in the second week of November

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted time to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to file his response to the Centre’s affidavit that it wanted to implement the Sethusamudram project in the original alignment by cutting across the Ram Setu.

A three-judge Bench, headed by Justice H.L. Dattu, posted the matter for further hearing in the second week of November when it would take up the petitions filed by Dr. Swamy and others challenging the project.

On Monday, the Centre stated that it did not accept the conclusions and recommendations of the Expert Committee headed by Dr. Pachauri that it was unlikely that public interest would be served if the project was implemented as per Alignment No. 4A (alternative route suggested by the court as against the original Alignment No. 6, which will cut through the Ram Setu.)

The Centre rejected the Tamil Nadu government’s stand that the Sethusamudram project must be scrapped “as the project is of questionable economic value and not in public interest.”

The Centre had said considering the fact that Rs. 766.82 crore had been spent on the project, implementing it further would improve its economic viability. It said “the project has strategic, navigational and socio-economic benefits and judging the economic viability of the project by merely internal rate of return which reflects only the commercial viability may not be appropriate.”

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