Gadkari and project one lakh crore

November 10 2014

Political ace Nitin Gadkari is an expert at reading the writing on the wall much before anyone else. Thus, the echoes of Modi’s Cabinet reshuffle had reached him much in advance, and he knew that the defence ministry that he was coveting wanted to be given by Modi to someone with a no-controversy background. It was Modi and Modi alone who chose Manohar Parrikar. So much in advance, Gadkari had turned his attention to shipping and transportation and showed little interest in the rural development ministry. Thus, Gadkari’s entire attention today is on Setu Samudram Project. Showing his interest that is about Rs one lakh crore, Gadkari has also created some opponents for himself within the party. These people are of the opinion that the project may be harmful to the environment and if the efforts to broaden the way for ships carrying cargo are carried out, there is a danger that Sri Lanka may be immersed in water. On the other hand, Gadkari is stressing on the point that he will create such a way that there will be no danger to the present Setu Samudram and the Ram Setu will stay as it is. It is worth mentioning that this project between India and Sri Lanka had been given an approval in 2005 during the then UPA government. Among a lot of political hungama, the Supreme Court put a stop to it in 2007. The UPA government wanted to broaden it to 30 metres, 12 metres deep and 167 km long, and the BJP along with several environmentalists had opposed the move saying the project was a threat to marine life and Sri Lanka as well. It is expected from leaders such as Gadkari that they will learn from mistakes of the past.

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