CHENNAI: Even as protests have erupted against the 277-km Chennai-Salem Greenfield Express Highway project, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has issued Terms of Reference (ToR) for a detailed environment impact assessment (EIA) study.
The ToR, a copy of which is available with Express, was issued on June 8. The ministry has listed out 54 components, which are to be studied and incorporated into the EIA report.
The Environment Ministry has asked the project proponent, NHAI, to submit a detailed alignment plan, with details such as nature of terrain (plain, rolling, hilly), land use pattern, habitation, cropping pattern, forest area, environmentally sensitive places, mangroves, notified industrial areas falling in the alignment by employing remote sensing techniques. Also, the plan must have a description of various alternatives considered and procedures and criteria adopted for selection of the final route.
If the proposed route is passing through any hilly area, the plan must examine and submit the stability of slopes. Landslide and rock fall protection measures should be indicated. Details of the trees to be cut, including species and whether it involves any protected or endangered species, should be submitted. Measures taken to reduce number of the trees to be removed should be explained in detail. Details of compensatory plantation must be given.
Possibilities of relocating the existing trees should be explored. Necessary green belt shall be provided on both sides with proper central verge and cost provision should be made for regular maintenance, the ToR document said. NHAI was also asked to submit details of measures taken during constructions of bridges across river/canal/drains.
26 held for meet against project in Tiruvannamalai
Tiruvannamalai/Dharmapuri: The ongoing protests against the proposed green corridor between Salem and Chennai had its reverberations in Tiruvannamalai after 26 people were detained and later released by the district police for convening a meeting against the project on Wednesday. The meeting was convened by Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam under the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) which is affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
“While the preparatory works for the meeting were underway at Vada Andhapattu near the medical college hospital, the police intervened and demolished the stage set for the meeting,” alleged Alagesan, a CPM functionary. Meanwhile, with the survey works for the Expressway is on in villages around Harur, three persons attempted self-immolation as they were losing land to the project.
DMK protest in Salem on June 23
Chennai: The principal opposition party, DMK, announced that it would launch an agitation in Salem on June 23, demanding that the government hold a public hearing on the proposed Salem-Chennai eight-lane green corridor and the land survey activities be stopped and to condemn the suppressive action of the police force.
The party’s headquarters, in a statement on Wednesday, said that DMK deputy general secretary Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan would preside over the demonstration to be held in front of the Salem Collectorate. Flaying the State for day-dreaming of suppressing the democratic protests by unleashing force and invoking the Goondas Act and NSA, the DMK said that the entire people (of Salem) were intimidated by imprisoning student-activist Valarmathi and activist Piush Manush.