DMK president MK Stalin on Tuesday blamed the ruling BJP and AIADMK regimes for the ‘disappointing’ verdict of the Supreme Court on the Salem–Chennai eight lane project case and said the people of the state would teach a fitting lesson to both the governments in the ensuing Assembly elections.
Urging the Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to give up the project, Stalin who is also the Leader of Opposition advised the state not to evade the issue by projecting it as a Central government project and said the farmers expect the government to publicly declare that it is cancelling the project.
It may be noted that a Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Krishna Murari, A M Khanwilkar and BR Gavai quashed the Madras High Court ruling with the volition of National Highways act.
However, this leeway for central government is restricted to reversing Madras HC’s quashing of notification for acquiring land.
Chennai-Salem expressway project under the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’, was opposed by various sections like environmental activists and politicians.
The High court’s division bench comprising of Justices T S Sivagnanam and V Bhavani Subbaroyan heard writ petitions by people including PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss.
On April 8, 2019, the court said that proper environmental clearance was required to begin this project, as the petitioners alleged agricultural and reserved forest lands come in the way.