Salem-Chennai Expressway: 89 Per Cent Land Acquired, Will Build Project, Says TN CM PalaniswamiThe Chennai-Krishnagiri-Salem highway (L&T IDPL)

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has reiterated that the eight-lane highway project between Chennai and Salem in Tamil Nadu will be surely be implemented, The New Indian Express reported.

Speaking at a public rally in Salem, the CM said, “Taking into consideration the future demands of the transportation sector in the State and the welfare of the country, this project has been proposed.”

He also assured that the State would adequately compensate people whose land was acquired for the proposed Expressway and would construct houses for them and sought cooperation from the public.

Palaniswami also explained in detail the benefits of the project. “The Salem-Chennai eight-lane road is very important for the development of the State’s economy. Only if we have good infrastructure , will new industries come up,” he said.

The Chief Minister also pointed out the proposed Expressway was not a road for Salem alone. “There is a misconception that this highway is only meant for Salem. That’s not the case, surely. The highway will connect all the important places right down to Kanyakumari in the south and to Kochi in the west. And the highway will not only reduce the travel time significantly, it will also cut down on accidents in a big way,” he said.

Palaniswami also pointed out that the land acquisition proceedings for the Salem-Chennai Expressway project was not opposed by as many as 89 per cent of the people. He added that, “..the idea is not to cause inconvenience to anyone...it is the duty of the government to fulfill the needs of the people...many people desire the scheme while some are against it.. on the whole, 89 per cent of people did not oppose land acquisition proceedings for the project. It was only 11 per cent who opposed."

The Madras High Court had on Friday reserved its orders on a batch of writ petitions, challenging land acquisition proceedings for the proposed project. The highway project has faced resistance from a sections of farmers, and the public as well.

The CM laid the foundation stone for smart city works worth Rs 198.85 crore. The works include construction of a two-tier bus stand, strengthening of the banks of Thirumanimutharu, the building of multi-level car parking at VOC market and Victoria shopping complex, renovation of Salem New Bus Stand and underground drainage works on smart roads.

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