The Madras High court refused to grant interim stay on land acquisition for the Chennai-Salem Green highway project on Friday.
Hearing a petition filed by Krishnamoorthy, a landowner from Dharmapuri, Justice Kalyanasundaram refused to grant an interim stay on the land acquisition for the project.
The petitioner had claimed that district revenue authorities were undertaking land acquisition activities without assessing the environmental impact and that it was against the rules.
The counsel for the government informed the court that many cases against the Chennai-Salem Green Highway are already in progress in front of a two-judge bench. The petitioner, in response, claimed that while the other cases in front of the two-judge bench were Public Interest Litigations (PIL), his case is personal since his land is affected in the process of acquisition.
The judge refused to entertain the plea and said that since the division bench has not granted any stay, he cannot pass an interim order.
He then directed the Dharmapuri revenue department and the Government of Tamil Nadu to file their response to the petition and ordered that the case be heard on July 12 along with other cases in the division bench.
PIL for quashing land acquisition for the Chennai-Salem Green Corridor
In another case, a PIL requesting the HC to quash the order permitting the project commencement was heard by a two-judge bench on Friday. The PIL claimed that there are sufficient roads from Salem to Chennai via Krishnagiri and Ulundurpet and that there is an airport in Salem, which would facilitate movement between the two cities and hence there is no need for the Green corridor now.
The petition also claimed that the impact on forest and environment was not studied and that those who oppose the project are being intimidated and the land was being acquired illegally.
A bench consisting of Justices TS Sivagnanam and N Seshasayee heard the petition and directed the Central and the State governments to respond. The bench adjourned the case to July 12 and posted it to be heard with the other cases related to the Chennai-Salem green corridor.
Plea requesting permission to go on hunger strike dismissed
Meanwhile, a petition requesting the court to direct the Salem district administration to grant permission to stage a hunger-strike was also heard on Friday. The strike was to oppose the land acquisition for the Green corridor without asking the people’s comments. This petition was dismissed by Justice T Raja.
The Chennai-Salem Green Corridor has been at the centre of controversies since it's inception. Multiple arrests of people who opposed the project have been made by the state government under various pretexts.