The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday refused to stay the notification of acquisition of lands for Madurai Ring Road Phase I. A division bench of Justices C.T. Selvam and A.M. Basheer Ahamed adjourned the case by two weeks.

The petitioner, K. Swaminathan of Pennycuick Iruboga Pasana Vivasayigal Sangam, claimed that the Project Officer of the National Highway Commission had proposed to construct a four-lane ring road known as Madurai Ring Road Phase I. The 29-km stretch would begin from NH 744A and end at NH 38.

A notification for acquisition of lands for the purpose had been published.

Notices had been sent to farmers owning lands along the stretch.

But farmers opposed the notification and registered their objection with the authorities concerned but they were yet to respond.

Without addressing their grievances, a notification had been published in the gazette stating that lands had been acquired.

The proposed road cut through 500 acres of wetland irrigated by Periyar main canal.

Big tanks like Karuvannur tank would be destroyed as a result. Even small canals acting as feeders to the bigger ones would also be destroyed, he claimed.

This could be averted if the road was realigned along the northern side of Periyar main canal, he said.

The petitioner also claimed that the construction of the road would lead to farmers abandoning agriculture and land sharks exploiting the situation.

He sought re-alignment of the ring road and quashing of the notification.

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