Within days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation of 296 km Bundelkhand Expressway in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has now fast tracked another mega Ganga Expressway project.
The 628-km Ganga Expressway, which would link 12 districts between Prayagraj (Allahabad) and Meerut districts, is estimated to cost Rs 36,000 crore.
With 2022 UP elections less than two years away, the Adityanath dispensation is not leaving any stone unturned in accelerating ongoing and proposed infrastructure projects, especially expressways since it is the most visible and widely used infra in the rural hinterland.
In this regard, state chief secretary R K Tiwari has directed UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) for Ganga Expressway by March 20, so that it is put before the cabinet for approval.
The mega expressway would entail acquisition of about 6,556 hectares of land and traverse Meerut, Amroha, Bulandshahar, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Kannauj, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratagarh and Prayagraj districts.
The six lane (expandable to eight lanes) expressway will have the width of 130 metres, apart from a service road of 3.75 metres.
Meanwhile, the state government is also planning to throw open the main carriageway of under-construction Purvanchal Expressway for light vehicles by December 2020, while the remaining work would continue for full commissioning in due course.
Reviewing the progress of flagship projects of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, Tiwari also expressed displeasure at the slack pace of work in some stretches of the Purvanchal Expressway and pulled up the concessionaire to conform to the predetermined project milestones.
The 340-km Purvanchal Expressway was divided into eight packages and awarded to different companies for ensuring time bound completion. It runs across nine districts viz. Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur. It would provide seamless connectivity between the backward Eastern UP districts to the National Capital Region (NCR) via the already operational Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Agra-Greater Noida Yamuna Expressway.
Estimated to cost Rs 23,350 crore, including land costs, Purvanchal Expressway will also have an emergency airstrip for Indian Air Force (IAF) jets at Kurebhar (Sultanpur).
He directed UPEIDA for speeding up the land acquisition for the Gorakhpur Link Expressway project, which is lined up for the foundation laying soon. The 91-km expressway is estimated to cost Rs 4,587 crore (including land cost of Rs 1,564 crore). It has been divided into two packages and awarded to Apco Infratech and Dilip Buildcon for development. It would span Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts.
Currently, 9 big projects are under various stages of development 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.