Rameswaram Ram Sethu Protection Movement published this letter of March 30, 2007 from Dr S.R. Rao addressed to Minister for Shipping and Transport, Government of India.
Dr S.R. Rao is former advisor, Marine Archaeology Centre, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, member of UNESCO-sponsored International Committee for Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH) and president of Society for Marine Archaeology (Goa).
In this remarkable letter, Dr Rao earnestly requested the Union Minister to save the traditionally-known Ram Sethu mentioned in various Puranas as a bridge built by the legendary Hero of Ramayana. He notes that it is of great emotional value as a sacred tirtha. He argues that both from marine archaeological and traditional points of view Ram Sethu deserves to be declared as an Underwater World Heritage Site.
Dr Rao sites the archaeological and technological criteria for recommending Ram Sethu to be a world heritage site consistent with the criteria listed on page 77 of the Journal of Marine Archaeology 1997-98 for structures of archaeological as well as memorial significance.
Dr Rao requested the Union Minister to see that the cutting of the rock or any kind of damage to the rock is avoided and added, ?It is no less important than Swami Vivekananda Rock where a memorial is built. Alternate routes suggested by experts may kindly be considered in the interest of saving the Underwater Cultural Heritage of India namely Ram Sethu or Adam'sBridge. My study of the submergence of Poompuhar shows that most of the ancient sites on east coast are being swallowed by the sea. The latest victim is the shore temple at Tarangambadi. During my two visits to Sri Lanka, as a member of the ICUCH, I visited the Ram Sethu site and had discussions with Commander Devendra Somasiri, another member of ICUCH from Sri Lanka about its importance as a Heritage site.?