Recently I have read comments here and here regarding the debate on Ram Setu or Adam's Bridge. Historians from all around the world are debating now, if the Ram Setu is a man-made (ape-made) structure or has it been naturally made. Whatever it may be, man-made or otherwise, it has sentiments of hindus and Indian culture intervowen with it. Ramayan is a prevalent story (history) across not only India, but across countries like Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, SriLanka and many other countries from South-East Asia. So, it is never a good idea to question someone's faith and especially not when you have so many people in a belief.People who do not know what the Sethusamudaram Project that the government has proposed is, this explanation is for them. Currently ships traveling from the East coast of India to the West Coast have to travel across Srilanka (see figure below). The Government of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India proposes a new route which will decrease the travel time by 10-30 hrs. For this the ocean has to be dredged and the total cost of the project is Rs 2,427. So there's a development issue to it as well. The project will save on the costs of travel as well as improve navigation. So the big issue today is should faith/belief/religion come in between progress/technological development??
My idea is that we should find an in-between solution to the problem. Most of the debate happening around the world is not resulting in a solution. So, I thought how about giving out 2 solutions that can be implemented in this case.
The First Solution (Easiest and Cheapest):
We already have a land bridge between Pamban island which is used by cars to travel from Ramanathapuram to Rameshwaram. The height of this bridge should be increased, so that ships can travel from below this bridge. Additional dredging needs to be done across the sea bed, but it would be cheaper and easier compared to dredging the whole area near the Ram Setu.(see figure below). There are few examples around the world where such things have been done before, so shouldn't be a technical problem.
The Second Solution: (An Engineering feat to make India Proud)India could build a canal bridge, something like done in Germany at Wasserstrassenkreuz. India has to build a similar bridge over the Ram Setu and it could be a great engineering feat. It would be a little costly, but India could take toll on the travel of ships for the maintenance of this bridge. It will be great achievement if India could pull this one off. The bridge can be 3km long since the width of the Ram Setu is less than a few hundred meters. The sea surface is not very deep and hence building such a thing will be easy. The Panama Canal and Suez Canal's architecture for water logging could be used to fill the bridge with water. (View the bridge here)
I have just proposed 2 solutions to this issue. There are many more solutions to the problem. Please leave your comments if you have any other solutions. Also, it would make many Indians happy if politicians could provide solutions rather than make noise on the issue.