Lok Sabha 2019
Gadkari’s comments comes just a week after the Madras High Court had slammed the feasibility report and stayed the project.
File image/PTI

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was campaigning for the AIADMK candidate in Salem on Sunday, and said that the Chennai-Salem Green Express Highway will be built in due course of time.

Calling the controversial project, which has currently been stayed by the Madras High Court, the most important development project in the region, the minister said, “Today the matter is in court. The High Court has given a stay for it. But still, it is very important for the development of this area. Our Chief Minister is constantly pursuing this subject... I’m expecting that in due course of time, with discussion with the farmers, we will resolve the issues and we will fulfill your dream of making of Green Express Highway between Chennai and Salem.”

Gadkari was campaigning for AIADMK Salem candidate KRS Saravanan. In his speech, he stated that his track record as a minister is 100% and that he would fulfill all the promises given by him to the constituency.

“I am assuring you, whatever the rates for land acquisition we are giving, we have increased the rate. As compared with today’s present value, we are offering more to the farmers,” he said.

It was only last week that the Madras High Court had quashed the land acquisition done by the state government for the project, and ordered the authorities to return the land to their owners and change the ownership to that effect in the records. The court slammed the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) argument that it would benefit the people living along the road. Trashing the feasibility report prepared as a part of the project, the court observed that the content of the report was a cut-paste job, since there were references to China and Bengaluru in the report. 

Gadkari’s speech comes barely two days after another Union Minister, Piyush Goyal, disregarded another prominent demand in Tamil Nadu, the scrapping of NEET. Piyush Goyal said that NEET will not be scrapped, contrary to ally AIADMK’s stated position on the issue.