Chennai: The Union government on Friday informed the Madras high court that nothing will happen as apprehended by the land owners and other public interest litigants with regard to acquisition of land for the multi-crore Chennai-Salem Green Corridor project. The project will not see land acquisition until a realignment process gets over, the Centre assured the court.
Additional solicitor general made the submission to this effect when a batch of petitions, challenging the land acquisition proceedings came up for hearing before a division bench comprising Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and V.Bhavani Subbaroyan.
The bench said the apprehension of the land owners and other public interest litigants was that in the light of the stand taken by the Project Director, National Highways Authority of India, Project Implementation Unit, Kancheepuram, in the affidavit of status of environmental impact assessment study and the feasibility study dated September 14, 2018, the authorities should not proceed with the acquisition proceedings by issuing a notification under section 3D of the National Highways Act.
"The Additional solicitor general submits that nothing will happen as apprehended by the petitioners. The said submission of the ASG is placed on record. The National Highways Authority of India shall file a flow chart as to what are the steps taken and the stage, at which, the various assessments/study are as on date. The flow chart will be taken by us as a sequence of events. List on September 20", the bench added.
The bench said the additional advocate general submitted that one Andi had illegally felled 109 trees. The said Andi was granted permission to remove 6 wind fallen trees, which according to the AAG, was classified as a government poromboke land.
“We have seen the sketch filed by the Tahsildar, Pappireddipatti and we find that said survey number is adjoining a forest land. The trees, which have been felled in our estimation, were more than 20 km away from the place where the wind fallen trees were lying. We are not fully satisfied with the explanation because 109 trees were cut down in an area, which is adjoining the forest area, which has been classified as meichal tharai in the revenue records”, the bench added.
The bench said the VAO of Manjavadi village, the Revenue inspector of Pappireddipatti and two village assistants of Manjavadi village have been placed under suspension. A FIR has been registered for the offence under section 379 IPC, in which the said Andi was shown as the first accused.
There were 4 other accused - Sakthivel, Manivannan, Sundaram and Chinnapaiyan. It appears that Andi and Manivannan were arrested on September 2 and remanded to judicial custody and that the remaining accused were absconding.
In the meantime, Andi and Manivannan were granted bail by the Judicial Magistrate, Pappireddipatti on September 7.
“We direct the DSP, Harur to file a report as to the antecedents of the accused. We also direct the District Forest Officer concerned to file a report as to the modus operandi, which was adopted and as to why adequate care and protection were not taken to ensure that there is no illegal felling of trees, especially when the said survey number is adjoining the forest area”, the bench added....