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‘No conclusive proof of Ram Setu’

New Delhi :
Satellite images of the region between India and Sri Lanka where the mythological Ram Setu is thought to have existed have captured islands and limestone shoals but they “cannot be accurately said” to be the remnants of a bridge, the government told Parliament on Thursday.

“Yes, to some extent, through space technology we have been able to discover pieces and islands, some kind of limestone shoals, which of course can’t be accurately said to be remnants or parts of a bridge,” minister of state for space Jitendra Singh told the Rajya Sabha.

He was responding to a verbal question by BJP MP Kartikeya Sharma who wanted to know if the government was making any efforts to conduct a scientific assessment of India’s past.

“I am glad to share with him that the department of space is actually engaged in this…. As far as the question that was asked by him here concerning the Ram Setu, we have certain limitations in discovering that because the history dates back to more than 18,000 years and if you go by history, that bridge was about 56km long,” Singh said.

He said the islands captured through satellite imagery showed “a certain amount of continuity in location through which some surmises can be drawn”.

“So, what I am trying to say in short is that it is difficult to actually pinpoint the exact structure that existed there, but there is some kind of an indication, direct or indirect, that those structures have existed,” Singh said.

The UPA government had earlier set up a committee under environmentalist R.K. Pachauri to examine an alternative alignment for the Sethusamudram project that involves digging of an 83km stretch to allow a navigational route through the chain of islands.

The BJP has been opposing the project citing people’s belief that Lord Ram had created a path to reach Lanka to rescue Sita and that it should be protected.

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