Some persons trying to scuttle expressway project: TN CM

By PTI Published on Jul 10, 2018 12:08 PM IST

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today alleged some persons were trying to "scuttle" the Salem-Chennai Expressway project.

The mega project will benefit not just Salem but most of the western districts of the state, he said.  Palaniswami denied opposition charges that freedom of expression was being 'throttled' in the state through the police force.

"A wrong impression is being created that this road project is meant only for Salem. That is completely wrong," he said.

He was responding to Leader of Opposition MK Stalin (DMK) in the state Assembly, who raised the issue of freedom of expression being 'throttled,' with police arresting politicians and activists opposing the Rs 10,000 crore eight-lane project.

The project will benefit western districts like Namakkal, Karur, Dindigul, Erode, Coimbatore and even Kerala as it has been envisaged to ensure the safety of vehicles in these regions, he said.

The benefits include saving on distance of about 60 km, which would subsequently benefit vehicle owners on the matter of fuel consumption, even as there would be a cut in emission, he said.

The project has been designed keeping in mind the manifold increase in vehicles over the years, Palaniswami said and pointed out that land acquisition for such road projects had been done during rule of previous DMK governments too. "Some persons are wholeheartedly working to scuttle the project and ensure it doesn't come to Tamil Nadu. This is a very good scheme aimed at preventing accidents," he said.

Further, the government will ensure due compensation to those who part with their land for the project, the chief minister added.

On Stalin's charge against the government on the issue of freedom of expression, Palaniswami said the ruling dispensation was tolerant towards their criticism of it. The state was witnessing the most number of protests on various issues, he pointed out.

"The Amma government allows people to freely air their views," he added.