Updated: March 19, 2021 8:17:22 am
As the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh completes four years in office, it is racing against time to complete major infrastructure projects, especially expressways, ahead of the Assembly elections due next year. The airport projects such as the international one in Jewar or the one that will be developed in Ayodhya will take time. So, the government is banking on expressways as it completes its fifth year in power in 2022.
The Mayawati government, which was in power from 2007 to 2012, built the Yamuna Expressway, while the Akhilesh government that ruled from 2012 to 2017 paved the Lucknow-Agra Expressway. The present government is aiming to build at least two expressways – Purvanchal Expressway and the Bundelkhand Expressway, the foundation stone of which was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also has the target to start constructing the third one, Ganga Expressway, before the 2022 elections are announced.
Amid the achievements being listed by the government, The Indian Express looks into the major infrastructure projects, on which the government pins its hopes, along with their progress and expected dates of completion.
* Nearly 340 km long, the six-lane access control project is set to boost Purvanchal (eastern Uttar Pradesh), which is the state government’s focus at present. The region includes Varanasi, the Parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gorakhpur, the home town of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Moreover, the road will also provide a direct high-speed road link to the National Capital that leads to not just eastern UP, but also Bihar.
Total length: 340.82 km.
Cost: Rs 22,496.93 crore
Coverage: Starting from Chandsarai village in Lucknow district; culminate at Ghazipur’s Hyderia village, which is 18 km from the UP-Bihar border. It will cover several districts such as Lucknow, Barabanki, Amethi, Sultanpur, Ayodhya, Ambedkarnagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur. Moreover, an airstrip is also being developed on the expressway in Sultanpur district for emergency landing of Airforce aircraft.
Progress: Nearly 98 per cent of earth work and 97 per cent of work on structures have been completed, while the total physical progress of the project is 80 per cent.
Deadline: While the scheduled date of completion of the project has been set as October 2021, government plans to open the main carriageway soon.
* Like the Purvanchal Expressway, the foundation stone of this project was also laid by the PM. The project is as ambitious as the Centre’s “Defence Corridor project”, which is being built along this. It aims to connect another underdeveloped region – Bundelkhand – with not just the state capital but also the national capital through two existing expressways.
Length (initially four-lane): 296.26 km.
Cost: Rs 14,709.71 crore
Coverage: Starting from Gonda village in Chitrakoot district of Bundelkhand and ending at Agra-Lucknow Expressway, near Kudrail village of Etawah district. It will cover Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts.
Progress: 82 per cent of earth work is complete, while 512 out of total 819 structures have been built. The total project progress is about 50 per cent. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the government claimed to be ahead of the schedule. While the deadline is March, 2022, the government is aiming to complete the work on main carriageway by the end of this year.
* Since the project was announced recently, so, the government is rushing to complete land acquisition, so that it can lay the foundation stone by year-end. It is expected to be one of the longest expressway projects in the country. Initially, it was planned from Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh to Prayagraj. Later, the government planned to further expand this expressway from Hardwar in Uttarakhand to Varanasi in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Progress: Nearly 7,800 hectares of land is required for the expressway. The government claimed to have acquired about 1,000 hectare of land for this project. Provision for further land acquisition has also been made in the recent state annual Budget. The government aims to complete land acquisition by year-end, so that at least the foundation stone for this project can be laid before the 2022 elections are announced.
Gorakhpur Link Expressway
* The nearly 91-km expressway is planned to connect Gorakhpur and Purvanchal Expressway. The project will start from Gorakhpur bypass and connect with Azamgarh district on Purvanchal Expressway.
While nearly 31 per cent of the earth work is completed, the total physical progress is about 13 per cent. While the scheduled date of completion is April, 2022, sources said the developers are trying to speed up work.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.