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PM Modi lays foundation stone of 340 km-long Purvanchal Expressway: All you need to know

The expressway will run through Azamgarh, the constituency of Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, among nine districts. There is also a proposal to link the expressway to Varanasi, the constituency of PM Modi.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 14, 2018 5:13:08 pm
The 354 km-long Purvanchal expressway will connect Lucknow and Ghazipur, cutting down travel time effectively to 4.5 hours from the current 6 hours. (Representational)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone of the Rs 23,000 crore Purvanchal Expressway in Azamgarh. The 354 km-long expressway will connect Lucknow and Ghazipur, cutting down travel time effectively to 4.5 hours from the current 6 hours.

The Purvanchal Expressway, which was named “Samajwadi Purvanchal Expressway” by the previous Akhilesh Yadav government, will complete a link between UP’s east and west. The expressway will be linked with the 302 km-long Lucknow-Agra Expressway and 165 km-long Yamuna Expressway from Agra to Delhi. Upon completion, the total network of expressways will be over 800 km.

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The expressway will run through Azamgarh, the constituency of Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, among nine districts. There is also a proposal to link the expressway to Varanasi, the constituency of PM Modi. Reports said he Adityanth government has already got a loan of Rs 12,000 crore sanctioned from the Punjab National Bank to execute the project.

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Avaneesh Awasthi, Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary (Information), has said about Rs 6,500 crore was spent to purchase about 93 per cent of the land. On July 11, the state government completed the tender process for the Purvanchal Expressway by assigning contracts for eight stretches of the 340-km expressway to five bidders.

READ | Why a second foundation function for latest Uttar Pradesh expressway

While the government has set a strict deadline for the project, estimating it to be completed within 2021, officials said they would try to finish the same in 24-26 months’ time.

However, BJP and SP have locked horns over the credit for the project. The SP has been circulating photographs of former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav laying the foundation stone on December 22, 2016, while local party leaders held a rally in Azamgarh Thursday to stake claim over the project.

Meanwhile, UP Minister for Infrastructure and Industries, Satish Mahana, called the 2016 stone-laying ceremony “farzi” (fraudulent) and claimed that the previous government had cleared tenders for the project at higher rates.

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