The Environment Ministry, on August 2, 2018, informed the Madras High Court that the land acquisition process for the Chennai-Salem Greenfield corridor, was being done completely in accordance with law and the project cannot be commenced, without its approval. “At present, the authorities are only doing survey work, which is essential for obtaining environmental clearance. Petitions against the project cannot be moved, on the basis of assumption that the government will flout rules,” additional solicitor general G Rajagopalan said.
The additional solicitor general made the submission before a division bench of justices TS Sivagnanam and Bhavani Subarayan, on a batch of pleas seeking to stall the land acquisition process for the project, without conducting social impact assessment. Opposing the contentions, advocate-general Vijay Narayan submitted that the project was only at a preliminary stage. Recording the submissions, the bench posted the pleas to August 3, 2018, for further hearing.