Farmer moves Madras HC against Chennai-Salem expressway

Farmer moves Madras HC against Chennai-Salem expressway

Farmer moves Madras HC against Chennai-Salem expressway

Chennai: A fresh petition has been filed before the Madras high court opposing proposed Chennai-Salem Greenfield Expressway. The petitioner, P.V. Krishnamoorthy, a resident of Pappireddipatti taluk in Dharmapuri district, owner of 2.98 acres of land, has filed the petition challenging the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) move to acquire the land for the project.

Krishnamoorthy, a farmer, submitted that even as Union Ministry of Environment and Forest not accorded environmental clearance for the project, the state government permitted the NHAI to proceed with the acquisition process in Dharmapuri district.

The police prevented the landowners in the taluk to express their grievances over the project to the authorities. Opposing the plea, the government pleader informed the court that two other similar PILs have been already referred to the first bench of the court.

Counsel for the petitioner Sakthivel replied that the present petition has been moved by a farmer, who would be affected by the project, challenging the acquisition notice dated May 29. And, two other PILs sought general relief, he added.

Sakthivel sought time to go through the other pending pleas referred to the first bench. Later, Justice K. Kalyanasundaram adjourned the hearing to July 6.

Earlier, a PIL was filed by by Poovulagin Nanbargal opposing the provisions in the new Land Acquisition Act, which permitted acquisition of land under the National Highways Act for national highway projects bypassing the mandatory rules for conducting public hearing.

Another PIL was filed an advocate A.P. Suryaprakasam, who sought the court to direct the central and the state government to appoint experts in the field of environment, ecology, water management and human resources, to study the ecological and environmental damages that would be caused on account of the land acquisition initiated for laying Chennai-Salem Greenfield corridor, before taking up land acquisition process.

A large number of several trees would be felled and water bodies would be filled up for laying the highway. Before undertaking such a massive road project, the government ought to have assessed the ecological and environmental affect. When PIL from Suryaprakasam came up for hearing earlier, a division bench ordered notice to the State government and directed the authorities to file reply before July 12.

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