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SBI-led consortium to give Rs 150-bn loan to 350 km Purvanchal Expressway

Yogi's first mega infra project estimated to cost Rs 200 billion

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Yogi Adityanath
Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri filing his nomination papers in the presence of Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and other cabinet ministers at Vidhan Sabha in Lucknow | PTI photo

A consortium led by top lender (SBI) will extend a credit line of Rs 150 billion to government’s first mega infrastructure project, Expressway.

The proposed 350 km expressway would traverse nine districts in viz. Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur. The total cost of the project is estimated at over Rs 200 billion, of which land cost would account for about Rs 70 billion.

UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) CEO Awanish Awasthi said the government had tied up with led bankers to provide Rs 150 billion loan for the project.

He informed that Allahabad Bank had already agreed to provide Rs 20 billion credit for the ambitious project, which seeks to transform the socioeconomics of the impoverished Eastern UP (Purvanchal) region.

This way, the Yogi government has arranged over 80 per cent of the funds required for the project through bank loan totalling Rs 170 billion.

Besides, the expressway would connect all important towns in its periphery viz. Varanasi, Ayodhya, Allahabad and Gorakhpur through link roads.

Meanwhile, the last evening decided to start afresh the process of selecting the developers for the project, which has been divided into eight packages.

Of the total 4,332 hectares required for the Expressway, over 82 per cent of the land had already been acquired and 90 per cent of the total land would be acquired by month end.

“The preliminary bidding process for the project would be completed by February 15, while the final bidding process if expected to be completed by March 20-25,” he added. The bidding would take place separately for each package to allow simultaneous work along the proposed expressway and thus faster completion.

The expressway would also have a 3 km long runway at Kudebhar (Sultanpur) for the landing and take-off by fighter planes during emergencies. The Agra-Lucknow Expressway already has the similar infrastructure at Unnao district.

Expressway, once completed, would be the country’s largest access controlled expressway and cut travel time between Ghazipur and Lucknow to less than 5 hrs. The expressway would incorporate provisions, which could be harnessed to lay oil/gas pipeline in future if required.

Expressway project was originally proposed during the previous Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party (SP) regime (2012-17) as Samajwadi Expressway.

After coming to power last year, the Yogi government had dropped from its moniker and decided to terminate it at Ghazipur from its earlier endpoint of Ballia. The Akhilesh government had even sought Rs 5,000 crore from the Centre for the expressway.

Expressway would provide seamless connectivity between Eastern UP and National Capital Region (NCR) via 165-km Agra-Greater Noida Yamuna Expressway and 302-km Agra-Lucknow Expressway.

First Published: Wed, January 03 2018. 20:14 IST