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Chennai-Salem Green Corridor Express Highway project puts 100 hectares of forests in danger

16 reserve forest areas could be affected if the government goes ahead with Rs 10,000 crore Chennai-Salem Green Corridor highway project.

Published: 31st March 2018 01:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2018 08:44 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only. (File photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: About 100 hectares of reserve forest land in Tiruvannamalai, Dharmapuri and Salem districts will be destroyed to make way for the proposed Rs 10,000-crore Chennai-Salem Green Corridor Express Highway project. The sprawling 100 hectares of forest land identified for the project include thick forest cover in 16 reserve forest areas along Arani, Polur, Chengam, Sathanur, Tiruvannamalai, Therthamalai, Harur and North Shevaroy ranges in northern district of Tamil Nadu.

The reserve forest areas are Siruvanjur in Chengalpattu forest range, A Pinjur in Sathanur, Sorakolathur in Tiruvannamalai, Nambedu in Arani, Alialamangalam in Polur, and Munnarmangalam, Anandavadi and Ravandavadi in Chengam range, Puvampatti and Puvampatti Extension in Theerthamalai forest range, Nonanganur and Pallipatti Extension in Harur ranges in Dhamapuri district; Manjavadi Ghat and Jarugumalai in Shervaroy North range in Salem district.

In its recent communication to the State government (Express has a copy of the document), the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) assessed that about 100 hectares of forest land in reserve forest area would have to be destroyed for the green corridor express project. “In addition to this, out of 274.3 km road, a total of 23 km road has to be laid in reserve forest land that pass through 16 forest villages,” said the communication.

The NHAI also urged the State government to identify alternative land for the forest department in the neighbhouring vicinity and also sought the government to accord early clearance from the forest department.

The reserve forest area is home to hundreds of animals and several bird species, besides functioning as lungs for villages in Northern Tamil Nadu.

Environmentalists in Tiruvannamalai district had already opposed the move and sought details on the number of trees to be destroyed and other possible environmental damage the project could cause.

J D Prakash, president of Ilanthalir, told Express they were awaiting the environmental impact assessment report from the government. “The entire bio-diversity system would be affected even if they destroy 10 hectares of forest cover. The proposal to clear 100 hectares of forest land would cause irreversible damage to environment in Tiruvannamalai and Dharmapuri. The birds and other species will lose their shelter if trees are felled,” he said.

He also questioned the rationale behind laying a new express highway, while a six-lane road exists  up to Vaniyambadi. “When the government faces opposition for land acquisition in road projects, they proposed elevated highways in Chennai. Why such ideas are not being considered?” he asked.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had recently proposed to develop a 274.3 km green corridor project, which seeks to reduce the travel distance between Chennai city and Salem by 50 km. According to NHAI estimates, the project requires 2,343 hectares of land in the five districts.

Forest department sources told Express they are about to begin an assessment on the  number of trees to be felled. They refused to comment further.

Short takes

• About 100 hectares of reserve forest land in Tiruvannamalai, Dharmapuri and Salem districts to make way for the highway project
• To reduce 57 km travel distance between Chennai and Salem, MORTH proposed Rs 10k crore project
• Total of 2343 hectares of land to be acquired

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Comments(41)

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  • Duraipandi

    This is not useful for the middle class family all the projects and ect given by the useful only for high class people this way will affect more farmers in thiruvannamalai
    1 year ago reply
  • logu

    please allow them to do some development at least.
    2 years ago reply
    • Akash Abimanyu

      Do u think that present 4 way high way is not sufficient to do transportation.I agree that it is a development but at that same time one development should not destroy other dream
      1 year ago reply
  • ANTONY JOSEPH

    Chennai-Salem Green Corridor Express Highway project is not need
    2 years ago reply
  • saya

    First they complete Salem airport properly......then they think about this project.....its all are stupid ideas....
    2 years ago reply
  • Randy

    . politicans destroying framers and middle class peoples lands. stupid politicans dont know pain of ours. we made big mistake by voting you. all farmers are crying stop this projects otherwise protest will be done all over tamilnadu.
    2 years ago reply
  • prakash

    dont destroy our former land. we live depond upon food
    2 years ago reply
  • Divya

    Please think of your future generation politician. you have to do good for people not for yours. ask people's opinion. All are crying do you have heart?
    2 years ago reply
  • victor

    stupid project stupid government
    2 years ago reply
  • Mkr

    BJP steps to destroy tamilnadu
    2 years ago reply
  • ABC

    Very vague and exaggerated figures were reported is all I can say! Before raising comments
    2 years ago reply
  • Sivasankar

    Please don't destroy the environmental wealth for unnecessary drama
    2 years ago reply
  • prabu

    This project is purely for government to steal people money and to sell the mountains and wealth to corporates ..It is not for peoples. wasting the money in the name of development and destroying the wealth of state ...
    2 years ago reply
  • prabu

    pls stop this kind of stupid projects
    2 years ago reply
  • MohanKNarayanan

    Already state government constructed 60 to 80 feet roads on most of these areas
    2 years ago reply
  • Jayaprakash

    My Suggestion we can expand the current road and Railway tracks
    2 years ago reply
  • sathishkumar

    ples stop this project and u can proceed train 8 track for goods & passanger . *** no tollgate ****** fees farmers property will be safe .....
    2 years ago reply
  • Shivani

    It’s a bio diversified forest. After Amazon south India has the next bigger one in this category.
    2 years ago reply
  • kumar

    just to reduce 50km
    2 years ago reply
  • silam

    Already 4 ways toll price is huge(1.75 Rs per KM)
    2 years ago reply
    • Lokes

      Bro. Already from chennai to salem via thindivanam & ulunthurpettai we need to cross 7 toll gates but the new express highway will have 10 toll gates. Read somewhere.
      2 years ago reply
  • Praveen

    It is just to facilitate mining operations in Thiruvannamalai & Salem. No use for people. In the name of reducing travel time & future traffic estimate
    2 years ago reply
  • SARAVANAN

    I HEAD PROJECT
    2 years ago reply
  • ismail

    Please stop this useless project
    2 years ago reply
  • V S Jagadesan

    The new greenfield road between Salem and Chennai will be a boost to districts like Thiruvannamalai and Dharmapuri districts. NHAI can take precaution as not to disturb the wild life in the forest area by constructing over bridges and passageways to the benefit of wild life. May be even the 8 lane road may not be sufficient in future. We have to think about the road requirement for another 50 years . Saying the present 4 lane roads are enough is not correct thinking.
    2 years ago reply
    • Jemima

      You are right..but after 50 years we will have vehicles and roads... Butno farmers.. NO FOOD..
      2 years ago reply
    • Subramanian Kandasamy

      Dear Prime Minister and Chief Minister
      2 years ago reply
    • Subramanian Kandasamy

      Dear Jagadesan
      2 years ago reply
    • GD Thirumalavasan

      Rightly put as suggestions.
      2 years ago reply
    • Saji

      Dear Mr.Jagadesan
      2 years ago reply
  • YOGENDRABABU R

    NHAI & TN Govt - Please stop this type of project that affects nature and consider about other living creatures. Already 60% of NATURE destroyed for the last 70 years government and public as DEVELOPMENT. we have to keep nature and think about for future generation.
    2 years ago reply
  • ravi varma

    It's about present swindling to make the future in to disaster ---cry of the nature.
    2 years ago reply
  • kumar

    good initiative by NHAI
    2 years ago reply
  • yuvaraj

    Kind attn to both Govt., we have lost many rivers and water sources, already people are cutting number of trees daily in Yercaud hill and even other hill station, for construction of hotels, resort and houses. Even hill stations are getting commercialized, now say, Govt. is not sparing the reserve forest., Govt is for the people and by the people. Man did't move inside reserve forest for 2 reasons, one restriction & two strange reptiles,animal & insects. Now we find Govt itself breaking the rules and law. Juz to save 2 hrs journey, should we drive into forest. when people say is that so much required. Govt please think what we are gonna give for future Indians. Bureaucrat please explain our Govt. Please think wise. It is a true Request.
    2 years ago reply
  • selvansakthi

    Dear tamilnadu goverment , please think out agriculture, we already have much problem. now NHAI, I have only 2 acre , if road comes , my full land will gone
    2 years ago reply
  • Sasikumar

    Dear Govt(NHAI) please avoid to make road at Forest and Agriculture Lands.kindly do not support to major companies to take over advantage and benefits.
    2 years ago reply
  • Jayson

    Already we are struggling of lack water.. This thing would lead us into heavy air pollution.. Destroy animals and small formers.. Try to develop roadways where it's already exits.. Hope as per law, minimum 80 feet would've been existing.. Make it useful from land grabbers...
    2 years ago reply
    • Hariyal G

      Just to reduce 57 km travel distance between Chennai and Salem
      2 years ago reply
  • Prasarak

    Make use of the existing highway if possible. Do not destroy forests just to reduce road distance by mere 50 km. Green cover is essential.
    2 years ago reply
  • S. murugan

    It is not really worth for people of Salem or Chennai or in between. Spending 10K crores to reduce 50Km travel distance is a foolish, but there is a huge scam behind that. They wants to export the iron ore to the Adani steel factories in foreign countries. If really they think of developments then they should go for Chennai Bangalore metro cities which is big business centers. To Salem already many transport facility (train, 2 highways, air) available then why the green corridor, this is satisfy Adani and Jindal. God should punish these ediots. S. Murugan
    2 years ago reply
  • Praveen raj in parapatty

    This roadway is not usefull to Salem. The project is bio-diversity to land and agricultural land are wasting the roads..... This in Salem area conditions....
    2 years ago reply
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