Edappadi K Palaniswami should clarify stand on Salem expressway: CPM

Thanjavur: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami should clarify the stand of the state  government with respect to proposed hydrocarbon projects in Cauvery delta and eight lane expressway from Salem to Chennai, said P. Shanmugham, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to the CPI(M) here on Tuesday.

He told presspersons that even as people and farmers are opposing hydrocarbon, shale gas and methane projects in Cauvery delta, Union Petroleum ministry has given permission for Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to make an environment impact assessment for hydrocarbon projects in the delta area. This is objectionable. During election time all political parties including the ruling party assured to protect Cauvery delta as an agro zone and spoke against any form exploration in the area.

But centre’s action shows that it is the other way round. “While our association appeals to the State Government to make its stand clear on protected agro zone of Cauvery delta, it has also decided to stall any activity in the delta by ONGC with respect to proposed hydrocarbon projects,” Shanmugham said.

“With respect to eight-lane expressway from Salem to Chennai, the Madras High court has cancelled all orders passed by the Government including land acquisition. It has also said that environment impact assessment has not been done and public hearing has also not been held. This is a historic judgment as it lays a guideline that public hearing and environment impact assessment should be held for all projects in future,” he explained.

But Sri Nitin Gadkari, Union Surface Transport minister in his poll campaign on April 15 at Salem has said that the project will be implemented. Tamil Nadu Government should therefore clarify its stand on the project without going on appeal, Shanmugham said.

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