Putting to rest all speculation about Yamuna Expressways fate,its developer Jaypee Infratech Ltd has informed the UP government that the 165 km-long,six-laned corridor will be ready in 15 days. The corridor,which will cut down travel time between Noida and Agra to nearly 100 minutes,will open with just three toll-tax plazas,at Jewar,Mathura and Agra,instead of five toll plazas as planned earlier.
The state government will carry out a safety inspection of the project built on a Public Private Partnership model with an investment of about Rs 11,000 crore. The date of opening of the expressway is likely to be decided thereafter.
Sources said the developer has decided to open the expressway with three toll plazas as the construction of two more plazas proposed near International Airport in Jewar and near Noida-Greater Noida Expressway would have taken more time.
The construction of two poll plazas has been postponed for the time being as the future of Jewar International Airport is uncertain whereas certain land issues need to be settled for the toll plaza near Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. The decision has been taken to save time, said a senior official of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority.
There are still certain issues that are yet to be settled between the developer and the state government,the most important being the speed limit to be allowed on the expressway. While the proposed permissible speed of vehicles on the expressway is around 110-120 kmph,a final decision has not been taken yet. There is also no decision on medical facilities to be provided on the expressway and opening of food joints.
Planned in 2003 during the Mayawati regime,the project,earlier called Taj Expressway,was taken up again during the last BSP regime (2007-2012). The deadline for the project was 2013. However,the project could not be completed for launch before the 2012 Assembly elections.
The expressway will provide connectivity to four UP districts,including Gautam Budh Nagar,Mathura,Aligarh and Agra,and also five proposed residential townships of Jaypee in Gautam Budh Nagar,Aligarh and Agra.
Significantly,the expressway will halve the time of travel between Noida and Agra,which is about 3.5 hours to four hours at present. It is also expected to give a boost to the economy of the entire region,including tourism and leather industry in Agra,brassware in Aligarh,and milk production near Mathura.