Chennai: Welcoming the Madras High Court’s order quashing the land acquisition process initiated by the Tamilnadu government along with the Centre for the Rs 10,000 crore Chennai-Salem eight-lane greenfield expressway corridor, M K Stalin said it was a death blow to the Tamilnadu government led by Edappadi K Palaniswami.
The DMK chief further stated that the government should apologise to farmers for acquiring their land and must refrain appealing against the court order. He further slammed the State government and said it paid no heed to the views of the farmers who did not want to part with their land. Stalin flayed PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss and stated that he has stopped talking about the project after entering into an alliance with the ruling AIADMK party.
A special division bench of Justice T S Sivagnanam and Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan passed the order after holding that environmental clearance was mandatory for the project as it would have an adverse impact on the environment, including water bodies.
The judges noted that a project report submitted by a private consultant was highly flawed, The judges passed the order hearing a batch of pleas moved by Anbumani Ramadoss, 35 landowners directly affected by the project and advocate A P Suryapragasam. Anbumani Ramadoss, who is seeking re-election from Dharmapuri in the 18 April Lok Sabha elections, hailed the court order and stated the outcome was a victory to his party and farmers.
Reacting to Stalins remarks against him in this issue, Ramadoss said, “People should understand the double talk of DMK in this issue. It did nothing to stop the project. In fact, Stalin had said in the state assembly that his party was not opposed to the project but only wanted it to be implemented with public’s acceptance.”
He also urged the Centre and state to not to file an appeal against the court order and assured the party’s support to farmers on the issue.
The Salem-Chennai corridor is an ambitious 277.3-km long eight-lane greenfield project under the Centre’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana‘ scheme. It aims to cut travel time between the two cities by half to about two hours and 15 minutes.