Catching both the locals and officials off guard, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Saturday went for a ride on the under-construction Lucknow-Agra Expressway en route to his native village Saifai in Etawah. A dream project of Akhilesh, the 302-km expressway is set to be inaugurated on November 21.
Watch What Else is Making news
As per the sources, Akhilesh himself drove the vehicle from Lucknow to Etawah. Accompanied by daughter Tina and son Arjun, he took halts at various points to check the ongoing work. He also interacted with the labourers working on the project and wished them ahead of Diwali.
At least two ministers, Abhishek Mishra and Rajendra Chaudhary, followed the CM as he went reviewing the project’s preparedness for public use. This was the first time that the CM took a ride on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway for quality check. He also stopped at Zahidpur village in Hardoi district and Sadikpur Roori and Bhagwanpur in Unnao where he met people and asked about the development works being done in their area.
Akhilesh announced that a trial run to land Air Force aircraft on a certain stretch of the expressway will be done during the inauguration ceremony.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), Navneet Sehgal, who too accompanied the CM in his journey, termed the project as world class. “Three kilometre stretch of the expressway will be used by the Indian Air Force for emergency landings. Sukhoi-30 and Miraj-2000 of Indian Air Force are set to land there at the inaugural function on November 21,” Sehgal said.
He further informed that the Rs 13,200-crore project has been completed in a record time of 22 months and will get operational for common people by December. This is India’s longest expressway, which is currently a six-lane project and expandable up to eight lanes.
Once it gets operational, the travel time from Lucknow to Delhi will be slashed to five-and-half hours, less than half the time it takes now, Sehgal said. Agra-Delhi stretch is already covered by Yamuna Expressway.
Two farm mandis, a logistics hub, an IT City and a residential town are planned to be built along the expressway, which passes through the pocket-boroughs of the Yadav clan, running from Lucknow to Agra via Unnao, Kannauj, Etawah, Mainpuri and Firozabad.
Earlier, on October 9, a special road trial was also organised by the Expressway Industrial Development Authority.