Chennai-Salem Expressway

Road and ruin

Print edition : September 28, 2018

Unnamalai Ammal, 70, of Adimalaipudur village in Salem district has emerged as an icon of sorts for her protests against the Chennai-Salem expressway project. She and her family stand to lose some two hectares of land. Here, she is seen arguing with revenue officials who came to lay marker stones in Manjavadikanavai village in Salem district. Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

Marker stones being laid for the expressway project in Sukkampatti village in Salem district. Photo: Ilangovan Rajasekaran

Anxious residents of Punjaikadu village in Salem district watching their land being surveyed for the project. Photo: Ilangovan Rajasekaran

The family of Kuppan of Thurappadi hamlet near Iraiyur village in Chengam block of Tiruvannamalai district in front of their recently built concrete house that is now threatened by the project. He gave several petitions to the Collector on his unwillingness to part with his land but to no avail. Photo: Ilangovan Rajasekaran

Marker stone hammered into the ground at Manalmedu in Kancheepuram district. One-fourth of the land in the village will be lost to the road. Residents hoisted black flags atop their houses and in their fields when officials came for a preliminary survey in June. Photo: Ilangovan Rajasekaran

At Achankuttapatti in Salem district on June 19 when the police dispersed people who had gathered in opposition to the project. Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

Revenue officials laying markers for the expressway in Manjavadikanavai village in Salem district. Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

Sevatharajan at his ancestral home in Kuppanur village, with his wife, sons and other family members. This house and two houses that his sons built face demolition for the project. They had earlier lost their house on the Salem-Tirupathur highway to a road expansion project. Elder son Narayanan (right), a postgraduate, has been successfully doing farming on the land that his father and grandfather made cultivable. He is mobilising project-affected farmers in several villages under the banner of the Shevaroyan Farmers’ Producers’ Forum to pursue a legal remedy. Photo: Ilangovan Rajasekaran

A greenfield expressway corridor passing through five northern districts of Tamil Nadu threatens to affect 159 villages, dispossessing farmers of their fertile land and leaving them with no means of earning a livelihood.

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