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Farmers, environmentalists up in arms against Tamil Nadu highway project

Farmers and environmentalists protesting the Chennai-Salem expressway connecting Chennai and Salem, in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

CHENNAI: A Rs10,000 crore project under the union government’s Bharatmala Pariyojana— a highway development programme, is facing a severe backlash from farmers and environmentalists in Tamil Nadu.

The 900-feet-wide green field express highway with an eight-lane between Chennai and Salem— that already has three existing routes—would cover 277.3 kilometres.

In October, the Centre approved the Phase-1 of the Bharatmala project considered as one of India’s biggest highway development plan which would “improve the efficiency of freight movements in India”.

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