CHENNAI: The Madras High Court today made it clear that no precipitative action shall be initiated by the authorities on land acquisition for the proposed Salem-Chennai green corridor highway project.
A division bench comprising Justices T S Sivagnanam and Bhavani Subbaroyan issued the directive during the resumed hearing of a batch of petitions from landowners and public interest litigation pleas against the eight-lane project.
It was responding after counsel for one of the petitioners asserted that four people, who were assisting the public in submitting written objections over the land acquisition, had been arrested.
"We have made a very pointed observation in several of our earlier orders that nothing should be precipitated by the state government or its officials," the bench said.
It also directed the Government Pleader to issue necessary instructions to the officers more particularly those in the field level not to precipitate any problem further, saying the court would view very seriously any such action.
On concerns over the impact of the project on wildlife, state Advocate General Vijay Narayan said clearance had been granted by the Forest department strictly in accordance with the procedure and with the available technology.
The bird sanctuaries falling along the corridor were situated well beyond the eco-sensitivity distance of 10 km from the point of land acquisition, he added.
Recording the submissions, the bench posted the matter to September 24.
The court had on August 21 restrained the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government from dispossessing people of their lands to be acquired for the project, which has run into opposition from some quarters, including a section of farmers, till further orders.