Drop green corridor expressway project, demands CPI(M)

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) will mobilise support of all the like-minded political outfits and organisations in the State and will launch series of agitations to bring pressure on both the Centre and the State governments to drop the proposed Salem – Chennai green corridor project, K. Balakrishnan, state secretary of the party, said here on Tuesday.

“The expressway is not going to benefit any section of society and as such both the Centre and the State governments should drop the proposal with immediate effect”, he told presspersons at Seerikkadu village in Kuppanur panchayat near here.

Mr. Balakrishnan, along with U. Vasuki, central committee member of the CPI (M), and other leaders visited Seerikkadu, Ramalingapuram and other villages where the government has proposed to acquire farm lands for the expressway and heard the grievances of the locals.

Mr. Balakrishnan said that CPI (M) was of the firm view that there was no need for the expressway at all as Salem and Chennai are well connected with three national highways.

A large number of farmers of Salem and Villupuram districts who had given their lands for the Salem – Ulundurpettai national highways have been complaining for the last one decade that the government had not given the compensation it had assured when the lands were acquired in 2005.

If at all the government wants to strengthen the road infrastructure it could very well do so by widening either of the two NHs, for which it was already in possession of adequate lands.

“The aggrieved farmers have all along been complaining that they were not given any prior information on the project and their views were not sought at any point of time. Why the government is hell bent on executing this project by taking decisions on its own without consulting the land owners”, he asked.

The CPI (M) will mobilise all the like-minded parties, except the BJP and AIADMK, and launch serious of agitations.

“My party will fight till the government dropped the proposal”, he said.

As a first step the party will launch the agitation of burning the GO copy of the project across the state on July 6, he said.

He came down heavily on Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami for his statement that more 90 % of the farmers support the expressway project. “There is no iota of truth on his statement”.

Referring to the allegation of the Chief Minister that opposition parties were instigating the farmers, Mr. Balakrishnan said that the Chief Minister should speak with restraint. He also criticised the government for misguiding the rural people with very high compensation.

Ms. Vasuki said that the Edappadi Palaniswami regime had surrendered all the rights of the state to the Centre and had no right to be in power.

The people of Kuppanur panchayat complained that more than 10,000 coconut trees, 1,000 arecanut trees, and a large of flower farms are likely to be destroyed in this village alone, which will badly hit their livelihood.

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