Chennai, June 26 (PTI) Facing resistance from a section of farmers and landowners over parting with their land for the eight lane Salem-Chennai Green Corridor expressway, Tamil Nadu government today said only 400 hectares of the estimated 1,900 hectares meant for the project were arable land. Also Read - Desperate For Alcohol Amid Lockdown, 3 Men in Tamil Nadu Die After Drinking Paint Varnish

Chief Minister K Palaniswami told the state Assembly that “a few persons” who could be affected from the project were staging protests and it should not be made into a big issue. Also Read - Fire Breaks Out in Chennai as People Burn Crackers in Response to PM's Call, No Deaths or Injuries Reported

“Of the estimated 1,900 hectares to be acquired for this road, 400 hectares is government poramboke land.Of the balance of 1500 hectares, 1100 hectares is being acquired in dry areas and only 400 hecatres is being acquired from arable parts.” The Rs 10,000 crore Salem-Chennai expressway has been facing opposition from a section of locals, including farmers over fears of losing their land, besides environmentalists,who are opposed to felling of trees for the project. Also Read - Doctor Feeds Food to Coronavirus Patient in Absence of Family, Photo Goes Viral

“Many have supported the green corridor. A few have opposed it. The opposition (to it) s being blown up through the media,” he said.

Boundary stones have already been erected in Salem and Dharmapuri and this would be done in other districts covered under the project, Palaniswami said.

The ambitious 277.3 km long eight-lane greenfield project connecting Salem and Chennai under the Centre’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ scheme aims to cut the travel time between the two cities by half to about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Palaniswami further said land acquisition was done during the DMK regime also, but that the compensation amount was “lesser.”

“Now (for this project) higher compensation will be provided as per the new land acquisition act,” he said.

The project was designed in a way to ensure there were no accidents and this would contribute to state’s growth, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.