Putting the Poorvanchal Expressway — launched by previous regime — on the fast track, the new government has issued directives to complete the acquisition of 90 per cent of the required land for the project by the end of this month. Sources said that the government is planning to start fresh bidding exercise for selection of developers of the project from July.
The state has already announced that project would be completed within two years of start of construction at the site with an eye on development of the eastern UP ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections.
As the progress of purchasing land was slowest in Ghazipur and Azamgarh, the government has directed the district magistrates of the districts concerned to hold camps for conducting registry of the land and payment to farmers.
“Administration staff will be present at camp with stamp papers and other necessary documents. Registry of land will be executed on the spot and farmers would be paid the money through cheque or would be transferred in their accounts,” said a government official who added that senior officials will monitor the progress.
When contacted, Minister for Industries Satish Mahana said the government was concerned about the execution of the project and directives have been issued for fast tracking the land acquisition so that other exercises like bidding could be started as soon as possible.
Adityanath government recently cancelled the tenders, finalised by the previous government, awarding contracts to six different firms to develop 354-km long Expressway that is proposed to connect Lucknow to Ghazipur via Barabanki, Amethi, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh and Mau
The previous Akhilesh Yadav government had launched the project with the name Samajwadi Poorvanchal Expressway and estimated it to cost Rs 19,000 crore. The new government, meanwhile, has taken off the “Samajwadi” prefix and reduced the estimate to around Rs 17,200 crore. fresh tendering would be started when at least 80 per cent land would be available for the project.
The state government claimed that only 40 per cent land was available and so the, previous tenders were canceled last month. An official of UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) said that as on June 1, progress of land availability was 95 per cent in Faizabad, 85 per cent in Ambedkar Nagar, 75 per cent in Sultanpur, 70 per cent in Amethi, 68 per cent in Mau, 61 per cent in Barabanki, 37 per cent in Lucknow, 34 per cent in Azamgarh and 27 per cent in Ghazipur.
The government has decided to connect Ayodhya and Varanasi with the expressway with a link road. Sources said that the government was also considering to connect CM’s home district Gorakhpur with the expressway through a link road. The government was said to be considering a proposal to develop a five-km stretch on the expressway for landing of small-size special planes.