SALEM: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, on Thursday, reiterated his claim that no farmer was forced to give away their lands for the Salem-Chennai Greenfield Expressway Corridor (GEC).
Speaking to media persons after participating in the Mettur dam water release function, the chief minister said, “We are not forcing anyone into giving their lands, instead they are voluntarily giving it for the project. As a result, we have completed around 90 per cent of the land measuring works. A few of the farmers, who belonged to political parties, are creating hurdles along with a group of people, who had personal motives,” he said adding that they had no intention to support any developmental projects of the government.
Palaniswami said that though the government was concerned about development, it is not showing any urgency to execute the greenfield corridor project. “We have to get funds within a stipulated time. Various states are competing to get funds from the Union government. So we have to use this opportunity.”
Taking a dig at DMK, he said that when T R Baalu was the union transport minister, 3,005 hectares for 17 projects were acquired. “Didn’t such large-scale acquisition of land by DMK affect the farmers,” he questioned.
Explaining the benefits of the project, he said that five years was needed to complete the project. “At the end of the fifth year, the State would witness additional 70 lakh vehicles. At present 2.57 crore vehicles are running in the State and in the next five years, the number will increase to 3.27 crore,” Palaniswami said.