Don’t blow up protests against green corridor, CM urges DMK

Edappadi K. Palaniswami  

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami urged the DMK in the Assembly on Tuesday not to magnify protests against Chennai-Salem green corridor, as according to him only a few were opposing the project. He informed the House that work on broadening several highway projects would commence soon.

Initially, DMK MLA T. Udhaya Suriyan (Sankarapuram) charged that the police were taking action against those opposing the project. Intervening, Mr. Palaniswami contended that the majority was in favour the project.

Marking stones have been installed in 90% of the project areas in Dharmapuri district (53 km of the total 56 km) and along 36 km of the total 39 km in Salem district. “Some, who would be affected are opposing the project... I urge you not to magnify their protests. It is not appropriate to speak against the project just because a few are opposing,” he said.

Cites vehicle pressures

Of the 1,900 hectares of land needed for the project, 400 hectares are poromboke land, and of the remaining, 1,100 hectares are barren land; only 400 hectares are agricultural land, Mr. Palaniswami claimed.

Pointing out that land was acquired during the erstwhile DMK regime for laying roads measuring up to 3,023 km, Mr. Palaniswami argued that the increase in the number of vehicles in the State necessitated better and more roads. While there were only 82,60,019 two-wheelers and 18,08,991 other vehicles in 2008, the numbers have grown to 2,15,86,210 and 41,92,286 respectively as on March this year.

On the government’s contention that compensation for land acquisition would be as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, DMK Deputy Floor Leader Duraimurugan sought to know whether all those who gave their land for such projects across the State would be compensated the same way.