NASA chief refuses to be drawn into 'Ram Setu' row | india | Hindustan Times
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NASA chief refuses to be drawn into 'Ram Setu' row

india Updated: Sep 26, 2007 19:43 IST
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The chief of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), Michael Griffin, on Tuesday refused to be drawn into the controversy over whether the Adam's Bridge or 'Ram Setu' was man-made or a natural formation.

Maintaining that he had not seen the aerial photographs of the Adam's Bridge taken by NASA astronauts several years ago, he told NDTV, "I don't know what you are talking about. I don't want to comment on anything I don't know about."

The BJP and Sangh Parivar outfits have been opposing the construction of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project through the Adam's Bridge area, saying the "man-made Ram Setu" should not be damaged.

The NASA pictures show the area, situated between the islands of Mannar in Northwestern Sri Lanka and Rameshwaram in the Southeastern coast of India, to be a chain of limestone shoals formed an estimated 1.7 million years ago.

The DMK and Left parties have sought that the project be given a go ahead by the Centre as there was no "scientific evidence" to prove that 'Ram Setu' was man-made.

The controversy was further fueled by an affidavit to that effect in Supreme Court by the Archaeological Survey of India, which was later withdrawn by the Centre.

When further probed about the "religious controversy" in India, the NASA chief said "frankly, I am not a religious person and I am not interested in a religious controversy. I have more things to do than engaging in a religious controversy."