The 277.3-km-long eight-lane greenfield project connecting Chennai and Salem under the Centre’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ scheme, would stimulate growth like the Mumbai-Pune and Delhi-Agra expressway projects, he told the Assembly.
He also said compensation for land would be paid as per the new land acquisition law and per hectare, it will be a minimum of Rs 20 lakh, for concrete houses it will be Rs 340 per sq ft and for a coconut tree it will be Rs 40,000. Allaying fears, he listed the benefits that the highway would bring and appealed to the public to extend cooperation for the project.
Stating that quality roads were crucial for economic growth, he said the greenfield highway would propel industrial growth, and lead to increase in per capita income and GDP.
The chief minister was replying to Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin and his party member I Periyasamy who raised the road project issue vis-a-vis opposition to it from some quarters including the Left parties.
Stalin referred to concerns over environment and apprehension that large tracts of farm and forest lands will be affected in five districts and wanted the government to seek the views of local people before going ahead. He said coming up with new road projects or acquiring land for it was not wrong but in view of the opposition, a solution should be found by holding public consultations. Palaniswami said the Mumbai-Pune and Delhi-Agra expressways, led to industrial growth in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Greater Noida regions respectively. Similarly, the new project, sanctioned after much persuasion, will open up new opportunities for industrial growth in the backward regions of Tiruvannamalai and Dharmapuri districts, he said.