Uttar Pradesh on Monday cleared the decks for two highways that will cost more than Rs 14,500 crore to build in Bundelkhand and Eastern UP regions, aiming to create 60,000 new jobs in the backward regions.
The 296-km long Bundelkhand Expressway and 91-km Gorakhpur Link Expressway will cost at least Rs 9,921 crore and Rs 4,587 crore The projects together are pegged to entail investment of Rs 14,508 crore.
A cabinet meeting, chaired by chief minister Yogi Adityanath here, approved engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts to financial bidders selected by a committee last month.
The highways will take 36 months each for completion, and companies would be paid 5 per cent incentive of the contracted amount if they complete work in 30 months. They would be fined if they miss the 36-month deadline, said cabinet minister Sidharth Nath Singh.
Owing to competitive bidding, the state stands to save Rs 1,229 crore vis-à-vis their combined estimated expenditure on civil works, nodal agency UP Expressway Development Authority (UPEIDA) CEO Awanish Kumar Awasthi had said earlier.
Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur Link expressways have been divided into 6 and 2 packages respectively for their speedier completion.
For Bundelkhand Expressway, the cabinet cleared the proposal to award different packages to selected bidder viz. Apco Infratech, Ashoka Buildcon, Gawar Construction and Dilip Buildcon.
So far, UPEIDA has acquired 94% of the required 3,641 hectares for Bundelkhand Expressway, which would cut across Jhansi, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts, and touch Agra-Lucknow Expressway at Etawah. The government has already released Rs 2,157 crore towards land acquisition in the project, while Rs 7,000 crore in bank loan had been availed of.
For Gorakhpur Link Expressway, the cabinet approved the awarding of contract to the lowest bidders Apco Infratech and Dilip Buildcon. The project spans Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts. More than 54 per cent of the required land has been acquired for the project. While, UP has already released Rs 940 crore towards land acquisition, Rs 2,275 crore had been taken from banks as loans to complete the project.
Currently, 9 big projects are under various stages of development across UP under UPEIDA viz. Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand Expressway, Gorakhpur Link Expressway, Ganga Expressway, Ballia Link Expressway, Defence Manufacturing Corridor, Semi High-speed Rail Corridor and electric charging stations.
According to the proposal, the NSSF would release the money in periodic tranches of Rs 5,000 crore