Chennai: A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Madras high court to scrap the National/State Highway the NHAI-45-A, Villupuram-Nagapattinam Phase 4 Sattanathapuram-Nagapattinam project in Nagapattinam district.
A division bench comprising Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad before whom the PIL filed by social activist Traffic Ramaswamy came up for hearing, adjourned it to June 10.
According to petitioner, he would like to represent the plight and opposition of many villagers and residents of the Sattanathapuram-Nagapattinam. The neighbourhood 25 odd villages wherein the 4-way national/state highway project for 56 kms has commenced in full vigor with huge acres of around 5,000 acres acquisition without any formalities adhered to like preliminary notification, environmental clearance, coastal regulatory zone clearance appraisal and sensitization of general public. The state government has arbitrarily exercised its power over the villagers prohibiting thus, their constitutional rights to challenge the acquisition proceedings. As aggrieved parties, these people requested the authorities to immediate stop acquisition of agricultural lands and forests, he added.
He said the implementation of the project without due environmental clearance would attract gross violation of principle of sustainable development and violation of provisions of Indian Constitution. This economic corridor for improving the freight service was unwarranted at this coastal belt of peninsular India under the name of Bharatmala project. Within just couple of kms distance, already the other slow progressing ECR project was underway and for unknown reasons was progressing at a very sluggish pace. Instead of disrupting the green and fertile agricultural land, the existing national highway could be widened. Many of the villagers were arrested in May 2019 for voicing their protest against the said land acquisition by the state government, he added....