THREE MAJOR infrastructure projects listed in the booklet released on the occasion of “100 days” of the Yogi government, were actually conceived by the previous regimes. While Lucknow Metro and Poorvanchal Expressway projects were launched during the Akhilesh regime, Jewar international airport, which was conceived during the Rajnath Singh government in 2001, was a pet project of BSP chief Mayawati.
Under the title Metro Ki Sarpat Daud in the 100 Din Vishwas Ke booklet, the state government claimed that while first the phase of Lucknow Metro project will be completed by 2019, steps are being taken to ensure that the first 8.5-km stretch becomes operational by next month.
According to the Detailed Project Report of the project’s phase 1 — prepared in 2013 by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd — two corridors of Lucknow Metro were to be constructed. The North-South Corridor (about 22 km) from the airport to Munshi Pulia was to be completed by March 2018, with an estimated cost of around Rs 7,000 crore. The East-West Corridor (about 11 km) from the railway station to Vasant Kunj on Hardoi Road was to be constructed by March 2019 — worth Rs 5,500 crore.
Akhilesh had decided to first undertake the construction of the 8.5-km stretch — starting from the airport to Charbagh railway station. This stretch was called “priority corridor”, which the government wanted to complete before Assembly elections. But it could not happen and Akhilesh went on to inaugurate a trail run.
Another project mentioned in the booklet is the Poorvanchal Expressway from Lucknow to Ghazipur via Azamgarh. It was announced by the Akhilesh government and named as Samajwadi Poorvanchal Expressway. The government had started the land acquisition process and invited tenders for the project — estimated to cost about Rs 18,000 crore — before BJP came to power. Now, the Yogi government has cancelled the tender allotted to six firms and decided to start a fresh process. It has also decided to add a link road to Ayodhya.
Another project mentioned in the booklet is the Jewar international airport, which has recently got in-principal approval from the Centre. The project was first conceived during Rajnath Singh government but was taken up by the Mayawati in 2002. It was shelved during the 2003 Mulayam government and was revived by Mayawati in 2007. It was then named Taj international airport and aviation hub. But the project got stuck, as it was within a 150-km radius of the Delhi airport. When Akhilesh came to power, he was focused on an airport to be built near Agra or Firozabad.