The Madras High Court, on July 5, 2018, dismissed a petition filed by a local Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) functionary, seeking permission for a public meeting in Salem against the proposed Chennai-Salem expressway project, saying that holding such meetings without fully knowing the ramifications and the vision of the government, should be avoided.
Justice T Raja noted that it was the first that time the government proposed to build an eight-lane highway, which would provide connectivity to villages and small towns between the two cities and cut down on travel time. “In my considered view, it would pave the way for many industries, factories and even multi-national companies to come and set up their establishments,” he said, adding that it would generate employment opportunities for the youth.
Petitioner KV Suseenthirakumar, president of the TMC’s Salem west district unit, said he had submitted two representations to the police, seeking permission for conducting a public meeting on July 8, 2018, to be presided over by party chief GK Vasan, giving an undertaking that it would be held in a peaceful manner. However, as the police had not given permission, he has moved the court.
Petitions challenging the land acquisition for the Rs 10,000-crore project, have been filed in the high court. Some quarters, including a section of farmers whose lands would be acquired for the project, have opposed it.