Salem-Chennai Highway project will affect farmers: CPI leader

The CPI has opposed the Tamil Nadu government’s proposed Salem-Chennai corridor, saying that the project will affect 72,000 farmers, besides felling one lakh coconut trees

The proposed green corridor project from Salem to Chennai is unnecessary, as the project would deprive thousands of farmers of their fertile land, secretary of the Tamil Nadu unit of the CPI, R Mutharasan said, on June 21, 2018.

The state government, without discussing with the people and farmers in the area, has already started the process of acquiring the land, as a result of which 72,000 farmers would be affected and cutting down of one lakh coconut trees, Mutharasan said.

See also: Government clears Rs 5,082-crore plan to build new terminals at Chennai, two other airports

Despite such expected losses, the chief minister K Palaniswami was adamant to see the Rs 10,000-crore project through, he said. Moreover, the communist leader said farmers, social activists like Piyush Manush and Valarmathi were arrested, for opposing the highway project and false cases were registered. “There is no freedom of expression for farmers and people in Tamil Nadu and those who raise the issue, are branded as anti-socials,” he added.

Amid opposition, Palaniswami had asserted in the assembly that the highway project would boost economic growth and its gains far outweighed other factors. The 277.3-km-long eight-lane greenfield project, under the centre’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ scheme, would stimulate growth like the Mumbai-Pune and Delhi-Agra expressway projects, he had told the assembly.


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