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Palaniswami; aerospace

Most farmers voluntarily giving land for highway project: CM K Palaniswami

Only a minuscule percentage of farmers opposed acquisition of their land for the proposed 277-km Salem-Chennai green expressway while others were voluntarily coming forward to part with their property, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said today.

“Four-five in 100 farmers are refusing to give their land. Majority of the farmers had voluntarily come forward and given their land for the green corridor project,” he told reporters at the airport here. He was replying to a question on the opposition to the Rs 10,000 crore project by political parties after protests by farmers.

Palaniswami said the green corridor, which will have eight lanes, was important as the number of vehicles had more than doubled now. Hence, it was the duty of the government to build roads keeping this in mind, he said adding the Centre had come forward to create the corridor and the state government was assisting it.

Besides, more compensation was being given, unlike during the DMK regime, and government would provide land and construct green houses for farmers with small land holings, the Chief Minister said replying to a question.

He also said airport here was needed to be expanded as new industries were likely to come up in the region.

On Cauvery issue, he said only Karnataka had not nominated its representative to the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA) and Cauvery Water Regulatory Commitee. The CWRC will take steps to release the quantum of water to Tamil Nadu every month, which will be monitored by the authority, he said.

When asked about the criticism of the Madras High Court’s split verdict on petitions challenging the disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs, he said it was not fair to discuss about the issue since it was in the court.

He also said criticism of judiciary should be avoided.

On the Salem Steel Plant, he said the state government had already urged the Centre not to privatise the PSU. The issue was also raised in Parliament, he added.

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