Farmers under the banner of the All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) protested against the proposed green corridor expressway project between Salem and Chennai and submitted letters to the authorities refusing to give their lands for the project.
The farmers of Aachankuttapatti; Sengattur; Kuppanur; Kullampatti; Yerikadu; Minnampalli; Sinnagoundapuram; Ramalingapuram; Ayodhyapattinam and Varagampadi submitted a letter refusing to handover their land, to the revenue authorities at the Collectorate.
The farmers said that the government has proposed to acquire 20,000 acres of fertile lands and farms and groves for the project and this would badly affect the livelihood of about 25,000 small and marginal farmers.
Already four national highways – Salem-Attur-Villupuram; Salem-Krishnagiri-Vellore; Salem-Harur-Vellore and Salem-Harur-Tiruvannamalai – connect Salem with Chennai.
The proposed new green corridor expressway has been planned near the already existing Salem-Harur-Tiruvannamalai-Chennai national highway. As such, the government instead of widening the existing national highway is planning to have a new road unmindful of the financial loss it will cause to the farming community.
The project will also affect the forest and mineral wealth for which the western region is famous for. The project is only to help the corporate companies to plunder the natural resources, the farmers said.
(This report is based on a report in The Hindu )