The state government plans to revive another project conceived during the previous BSP regime — a 148-km-long expressway connecting Greater Noida and Bulandshahr to Purkazi in Muzaffarnagar district near the Uttrakhand border.
During BSP chief Mayawati’s tenure as chief minister, the Union Environment and Forests Ministry had raised questions over the need for the expressway and its proposed route, which required large forest areas along the Upper Ganga Cannal to be shifted. The then BSP government was keen on the project as large section of the land was already available with the irrigation department.
Earlier, the SP government had tweaked Mayawati’s Ganga expressway project and given it a final shape in the form of the Lucknow-Ballia expressway.
Sources said the Akhilesh government has sought fresh clearance for the 148-km-long expressway from the Union ministry and was considering changing the alignment to ensure lesser forest area comes under the project. However, unlike the two ongoing expressway projects — Lucknow-Agra and Lucknow-Ballia — the government plans to take up this project through Public Private Partnership model.
The project, aiming for faster connectivity of Greater Noida with Uttrakhand, was initially conceived from Sanauta bridge (Bulandshahr) to Purkazi (Muzaffarnagar), covering Gautam Budh Nagar, Meerut and Saharanpur districts.
Its original estimated cost in early 2012 was around Rs 8,000 crore.
Asked why the project was being revived, UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) CEO Navneet Sehgal said: “The project was stuck due to environment clearance. But the government now plans to remove some of the lacunae. The UPEIDA has already written to the Centre for fresh survey and clearance.”
Meanwhile, the government has decided to extend the proposed Lucknow-Ballia expressway to Bharauli in Ballia to ensure better connectivity from central UP to Bihar. Bharauli is located near the area where national highways 19 and 84 meet, leading to Chapra and Buxar in Bihar.
Sources said a consultant has been asked to suggest an alignment reaching Bharauli so that instead of ending abruptly, the expressway reaches the NH intersection. The proposed alignment is expected to be around 340-km-long and is expected to pass through several districts.