Uttar Pradesh's BJP government aims to finish before the 2022 state elections two highways that will cost Rs 37,000 crore and require land acquisition of nearly 8,000 hectares.
The Purvanchal Expressway, which is under construction, will cost Rs 23,000 crore and is projected to be completed by August-September 2020. Competitive bidding for Bundelkhand Expressway, which will cost Rs 14,000 crore, will start after the model code of conduct for Lok Sabha elections is over.
More than 96 per cent of the 4,332 hectares needed for the Purvanchal Expressway has been acquired, according to UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), the nodal agency for the two projects.
As much as 60 per cent of the 3,642 hectares need for the Bundelkhand Expressway has been acquired. It will connect the backward region of Bundelkhand, which comprises cities like Jhansi and Banda, with mainland Uttar Pradesh and the National Capital Region (NCR) via other highways like the Agra-Lucknow Expressway and the Agra-Greater Noida Yamuna Expressway.
Purvanchal Expressway will pass through nine districts: Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau, and Ghazipur.
The state government in January cleared the proposed 91-km Gorakhpur Link Expressway, which is estimated to cost an additional Rs 5,555 crore and which will link Gorakhpur with the Purvanchal Expressway.
The Bundelkhand Expressway will pass through Jhansi, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts. It will touch Agra-Lucknow Expressway at Etawah.
The process for acquiring the remaining land for the two projects is likely to be completed in a few weeks, according to a senior UPEIDA official.