CHENNAI: BJP state president K Annamalai on Tuesday asked Chief Minister MK Stalin to explain his government stand on the Chennai-Salem Expressway project.
"If there is a change in the stand on the project, he should tell people what was the reason for it? Why did they oppose several central projects? Is it because of political reasons?" Annamalai questioned.
The eight-lane Chennai Salem Expressway project proposed by the National Highways Authority of India ran into controversy with farmers opposing the land acquisition citing impact on their livelihood. Even as the then ruling AIADMK and BJP supported the project, it was strongly opposed by the opposition parties, including DMK.
"While in Opposition, the Chief Minister had declared in Salem that his party would not allow the project to come up. Even in the DMK manifesto, they expressed opposition to the project. After coming to power, when he met the Prime Minister for the first time, he submitted a memorandum seeking scrapping of the project. DMK opposed the projects for political reasons," Annamalai told reporters at his party headquarters here. He said now PWD and Highways Minister EV Velu has taken a contradictory stand and has claimed that DMK had never sought for scrapping of the project. "DMK opposed all the projects when in opposition and welcomed it after coming to power," Annamalai noted.
On the proposed second airport at Parandur, he blamed the State government over the local people's opposition against land acquisition and environmental concerns raised over the selected site.
"Parandur was one of the four sites proposed for the second airport by the DMK government. Even though the Union Aviation Ministry approved the Parandur site, the Centre will give its approval only if the site gets all the clearances, including environmental clearance. The present controversy over the Parandur land was the DMK's own making due to lack of transparency and planning," he said, adding that the second airport should be set up at a place where the people are not affected and it did not have any environmental concerns.
Annamalai said that local people are not satisfied with the Minister's promise for payment of three times the market value of land as the DMK had in the past failed to fulfill its electoral promises.