Adityanath govt clears Rs 1,600 cr Ballia Link Expressway project

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addresses an election rally in support of the BJP candidates for the Rajasthan State Assembly elections, in Ajmer. (Photo:PTI)
Uttar Pradesh cabinet today cleared the decks for the proposed Ballia Link Expressway project, which is estimated to cost Rs 1,600 crore.

The project would link Ballia district on the UP-Bihar border with the under-construction Purvanchal Expressway, which is aimed at connecting the backward eastern UP region with central UP at Lucknow, and via Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Greater Noida-Agra Expressway with the National Capital Region (NCR).

In the state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Adityanath this morning, the government gave its nod for preparing the detailed project report (DPR) for the project.

The four-lane expressway, expected to be 35-40 km long, is likely to cost almost Rs 40 crore per km, thus entailing maximum investment of Rs 1,600 crore.

According to UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) CEO, the Ballia Link Expressway would provide seamless road connectivity from the NCR to the UP-Bihar border areas and give impetus to trade and socio-economic development.

The 353 km Purvanchal Expressway, estimated to cost Rs 23,000 crore, would cut across Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur.

On November 11, the Adityanath government had cleared the decks for two other mega expressway projects totalling more than Rs 14,500 crore in Bundelkhand and Eastern UP regions.

These two projects include the 296-km Bundelkhand Expressway and the 91-km Gorakhpur Link Expressway, estimated to cost Rs 9,921 crore (including land cost of Rs 2,202 crore) and Rs 4,587 crore (including land cost of Rs 1,564 crore) respectively.

While these two projects are estimated to be completed in 36 months each, the concessionaries would be paid five per cent incentive of the contracted amount, if they complete the project in 30 months.

Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur Link expressways have been divided into 6 and 2 packages respectively for their speedier completion.

For Bundelkhand Expressway, the cabinet cleared the proposal to award different packages to selected bidder viz. Apco Infratech, Ashoka Buildcon, Gawar Construction and Dilip Buildcon.

Bundelkhand Expressway would span Jhansi, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts, and touch Agra-Lucknow Expressway at Etawah.

The government has already released Rs 2,157 crore towards land acquisition in the project, while Rs 7,000 crore in bank loan had been availed of.

For the Gorakhpur Link Expressway, the cabinet approved awarding of the contract to the lowest bidders Apco Infratech and Dilip Buildcon. The project spans Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts. While, UP has already released Rs 940 crore towards land acquisition, Rs 2,275 crore had been taken from banks as loans to complete the ambitious project that relates to Adityanath’s pocket borough.

Currently, several projects are under various stages of development under UPEIDA, namely, Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand Expressway, Gorakhpur Link Expressway, Ganga Expressway, Ballia Link Expressway, Defence Manufacturing Corridor, and Semi High-speed Rail Corridor.

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