The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has challenged Madras High Court’s order quashing the notification for the acquisition of lands for the Chennai-Salem Express Highway in the Supreme Court.
Lands will need to be acquired but not possessed in order to get a clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Solicitor-general Tushar Mehta who appeared for the NHAI, defended.
The Chennai-Salem Express Highway project was a part of the Bharat Mala Pariyojana and its stalling would have wide repercussions on other projects proposed under the project in the entire country, he added.
The Supreme Court has posted the matter for hearing on September 4.
Chennai-Salem Express Highway project
Initially envisioned as the Chennai-Madurai project and later changed to Chennai-Salem Express Highway project, is a Rs. 10,000 crore, 8-lane green corridor road project. The ambitious 277.3-km greenfield project aims to connect Salem and Chennai under the central government’s Bharatmala Pariyojana scheme to cut travel time between the two cities by half, to about two hours and 15 minutes.