With its stakes high in 2017 Assembly election in the state, the Samajwadi Party government has become desperate to complete its ambitious 302 km-long Lucknow-Agra Expressway project before the election arrives.
The government’s eagerness is clear from its decision to bring forward the project-completion deadline by six months — from 36 months to 30 months stating from the time it hands over the letter of intent to the developers this year – and introduce an incentive-based scheme whereby developers will be monetarily rewarded if they finish the project before the new deadline.
The CEO of Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), Navneet Sehgal said the monetary incentives could go up to Rs 6 crore, with each developer’s incentive to be calculated in terms of percentage (averaging 0.4) of the total cost of the package undertaken by it.
For the construction work of the expressway, which will be developed in five stretches, the state government has chosen its list of developers for each stretch.
“The deadline for the construction of each of these five stretch is 30 months and we would give incentives up to 0.4 per cent of the cost of the concerned package to the developers for early completion,” Sehgal told The Indian Express.
He added that different stages have been set for early completion and percentage of the incentive would be given depending on how early the concerned project is completed.
Following the high-level meeting on Wednesday, the government’s list of developers is all set to get the state cabinet’s nod next week. The state government has set the deadline to hand over the letter of intent to these developers by the end of this month and start the construction work from October onwards.
Simultaneously, the state wgovernment is also taking up the land acquisition process at a fast pace. Sources inform that about 50 per cent of the land required for the project (about 1,500 hectare) has already been acquired. Out of the 232 villages that would come under the project areas, agreement has been signed with farmers in almost 207 villages, leaving only 25 villages where the government is negotiating compensation rates as farmers are not yet satisfied with the rates offered.
Moreover, in another initiative to take forward the project, the state has decided to hire the services of a “professional engineering company” that would monitor the project on behalf of the UPEIDA.