Giving its flagship infrastructure projects a push, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has acquired more than 10,000 hectares of land across the state. These mega projects, estimated to cost nearly Rs 80,000 crore, aim to boost the basic road and air connectivity infrastructure, apart from creating a modern defence industrial hub in Bundelkhand region.
Among these are the under-construction Purvanchal Expressway project and the proposed ones like Bundelkhand Expressway, Gorakhpur Link Expressway, Jewar International Airport and Defence Manufacturing Corridor.
These projects are estimated to require an acquisition of more than 15,000 hectares of land. Of this, state government agencies have so far acquired and taken physical possession of more than 10,000 hectares, corresponding to about 66 per cent of the land requirement.
For the 350-km Purvanchal Expressway, expected to cost Rs 23,000 crore, the state government has acquired 98 per cent of the land requirement, or nearly 4,312 hectares. This expressway is go traverse nine districts — Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur — and be linked with Varanasi and Gorakhpur via link roads.
According to UPEIDA CEO Awanish Kumar Awasthi, also the UP additional chief secretary, the main carriageway of Purvanchal Expressway would be operational by 2020.
Similarly, for the proposed 296-km Bundelkhand Expressway, estimated to cost nearly Rs 14,500 crore, nodal agency UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) has so far acquired 93 per cent or 3,386 hectares of the required land. The expressway would cut across Jhansi, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts, and touch Agra-Lucknow Expressway at Etawah.
For the 91-km Gorakhpur Link Expressway, the government claims to have acquired more than 50 per cent or 550 hectares of the estimated requirement of 1,100 hectares along the route. The project would run through Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts.
Meanwhile, the proposed Jewar International airport project in Greater Noida, estimated to cost Rs 16,000 crore and require about 1,334 hectares to operationalise the first phase, has also witnessed acquisition of over 80 per cent (1,067 hectares) of the required land. Yesterday, the farmers whose land was being acquired met the chief minister at his official residence in Lucknow.
For the big-ticket Defence Manufacturing Corridor, proposed to have six nodes stretching from Bundelkhand to the Central UP region, the government has either acquired or arranged for land parcels totalling 1,000 hectares in different districts for allotment to public and private-sector companies.
The project, granted by the Narendra Modi government to UP, is estimated to attract an investment of Rs 20,000 crore and create 250,000 jobs. Another similar project had gone to Tamil Nadu.