UP raises bank loans worth Rs 5,900 crore for Bundelkhand Expressway

The Bundelkhand Expressway will link Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts
In a major boost to the mega 296-km Bundelkhand Expressway, the Uttar Pradesh government has raised bank loans worth Rs 5,900 crore for the ongoing project.

The fresh loans have been raised from a consortium of public sector lenders comprising Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Indian Bank, Bank of India and Uco Bank.

An agreement for loans totalling Rs 5,900 crore for Bunelkhand Expressway, expected to cost Rs 15,000 crore, was signed on Tuesday between these banks and state nodal agency UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA). Last month, the UPEIDA board had cleared the proposal of raising Rs 5,900 crore for the Expressway from banks.

The Bundelkhand Expressway will link Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts. Last year, the state had awarded the six packages of the Expressway to winning bidders including Apco Infratech, Ashoka Buildcon, Gawar Construction and Dilip Buildcon.

It will connect Bundelkhand with the national capital region (NCR) via Agra-Lucknow and Yamuna expressways. The project would commence at Bharatkoop near Jhansi-Allahabad National Highway (NH) 35 in Chitrakoot district and terminate at village Kudrail, Etawah on Agra-Lucknow Expressway.

Meanwhile, Uco Bank has additionally sanctioned Rs 500 crore for another mega project, 340 km Purvanchal Expressway, which is estimated to cost Rs 23,000 crore. Entailing acquisition of 4,332 hectares, it will cut through 9 districts viz. Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur.

So far, the state government has raised Rs 11,300 crore for Purvanchal Expressway, which will link the backward Eastern UP districts with Central UP, thus offering faster connectivity to the NCR via existing expressways.

According to UPEIDA CEO and UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi, the fresh loans would not only help in the time bound completion of these big infra projects, but also generate employment opportunities and boost the local economy.

The work on the state expressways had come to a standstill during the initial phases of covid-19 lockdown imposed in March 2020. However, the work started to resume from April in the non-containment zones.

Besides, the Authority is also raising funds for two other expressway projects, namely, the 91-km Gorakhpur Link Expressway and the 628-km Ganga Expressway, which are estimated to cost Rs 4,600 crore and Rs 36,000 crore, respectively.

UPEIDA has planned to raise Rs 2,900 crore from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (Hudco) for Ganga Expressway for land acquisition. HUDCO is a central government-owned corporation under the control of the union ministry of housing and urban affairs.

Ganga Expressway will entail the acquisition of 6,556 hectares of land and traverse Meerut, Amroha, Bulandshahar, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Kannauj, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratagarh and Prayagraj districts.

Gorakhpur Link Expressway will span Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts.

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