High Court spikes land acquisition process for Chennai-Salem expressway

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on April 08, 2019

A representational image   -  THE HINDU

In a major setback to the Tamil Nadu government, the Madras High Court on Monday quashed the land acquisition process for the controversial ₹10,000-crore Chennai-Salem greenfield expressway, stating that the project would have an adverse effect on the environment and water bodies.

With 10 days left for the Lok Sabha elections and bypolls to 18 Assembly constituencies, the impact of the order on the prospects of the AIADMK-led alliance is unclear as Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami, who hails from Salem, is a strong proponent of the project that has been opposed by local people.

A special division bench of Justices TS Sivagnanam and Bhavani Subbaroyan passed the order while allowing a batch of petitions moved by PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss and 35 land owners directly affected by the project.

The 277-km, eight-lane greenfield project was to be taken up under the Centre’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ scheme, reducing the travel time between Chennai and Salem by half to nearly two hours and 15 minutes.

The HC said that if the project is allowed to be implemented without prior environmental clearance, it would be in violation of principles of sustainable development and the Constitution.

Hailing the verdict, DMK president MK Statin said it is a death blow to the Palaniswami government. According to sources, the State may appeal against the order.

Published on April 08, 2019

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