Opposition DMK Monday welcomed the Madras High Court order quashing the land acquisition process for the Salem-Chennai green corridor project, saying it has dealt a ‘death blow’ to the K Palaniswami government in Tamil Nadu.
DMK president and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly M K Stalin said the government should not prefer an appeal against the court ruling and demanded that the chief minister apologise to farmers for acquiring their land. “The court has dealt a death blow to the Palaniswami government which does not respect people’s sentiments,” Stalin alleged in a statement here.
Earlier in the day, a special bench of the high court quashed the land acquisition process for the Rs 10,000-crore project, holding it required a mega realignment as the proposed route would have an adverse effect on the environment. The bench of Justice T S Sivagnanam and Justice Bhavani Subbarayan passed the order allowing a batch of petitions of 35 landowners and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss, whose party is now a constituent of the AIADMK-ledNDA.
Stalin said the government paid no heed to the plea of the farmers who did not want to part with their land and was keen to implement the project with the help of the police. He also took a swipe at Anbumani Ramadoss, saying “he has stopped talking” about the project after entering into an alliance with the AIADMK. “Palaniswami should announce that an appeal will not be made against the court order,” Stalin said and wanted to know if PMK would quit the alliance if the chief minister failed to give such an assurance.
The Salem-Chennai corridor is an ambitious 277.3-km long eight-lane greenfield project under the Centre’s’Bharatmala Pariyojana’ scheme which aims to cut travel time between the two cities by half to about two hours and 15minutes. However, it has has been facing opposition from a section of locals, including farmers, over fears of losing their land, besides environmentalists who were against felling of trees for the project.