PM Modi to lay foundation of Rs 10,000 cr Bundelkhand Expressway in UP

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon lay the foundation of the 296-km Bundelkhand Expressway, estimated to cost almost Rs 10,000 crore, in Uttar Pradesh's Chitrakoot district soon.

The state government is waiting for a confirmation from the PM’s Office (PMO) to finalise the date in this regard, a senior UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) official told Business Standard here today.

Although the government had earlier planned for the foundation laying ceremony on Sunday (January 19), the event was later postponed.

“We have been making preparations for the foundation laying ceremony, which would be held according to the confirmation by the PMO,” he informed.

The foundation laying will take place at village Gonda in Bharatkoop, which is part of the Karvi tehsil in Chitrakoot, since it is the starting point of the mega expressway project.

Bundelkhand Expressway, estimated to cost Rs 9,921 crore, including land costing Rs 2,200 crore, is aimed at boosting the socio-economic development of the arid region. It will run through Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah districts.

The project will start near Bharatkoop at Jhansi-Allahabad National Highway (NH) 35 in Chitrakoot district and terminate near village Kudrail, Etawah on Agra-Lucknow Expressway.

On November 11, 2019, the Adityanath government had cleared the decks for two big expressway projects viz. Bundelkhand Expressway and Gorakhpur Link Expressway.

Earlier, the state had approved the award of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to the winning financial bidders. While, each of these expressways is estimated to be completed in 36 months, the concessionaries have been promised a 5% incentive of the contracted amount, if they complete the project in 30 months.

Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur Link expressways have been divided into six and two packages, respectively, for their speedier completion. For Bundelkhand Expressway, the government had awarded the six packages to the selected bidders, including Apco Infratech, Ashoka Buildcon, Gawar Construction and Dilip Buildcon.

So far, UPEIDA has acquired 97 per cent of the required 3,641 hectares for the Bundelkhand Expressway and released Rs 2,100 crore towards land acquisition. The state is raising Rs 7,000 crore through a consortium of banks led by private lender Bank of Baroda for the project.

Meanwhile, the foundation laying ceremony of the 91-km Gorakhpur Link Expressway, touted to cost Rs 4,587 crore, including land cost of Rs 1,564 crore, is likely to be held next month.

Earlier, the EPC contract for Gorakhpur Link Expressway was awarded to Apco Infratech and Dilip Buildcon. It will run across Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts. So far, 55 per cent of the required land has been acquired for the project. While, UP has already released Rs 940 crore towards land acquisition, Rs 2,275 crore will be mopped up in bank loans.

Currently, nine big projects are under various stages of development across UP under UPEIDA viz. Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand Expressway, Gorakhpur Link Expressway, Ganga Expressway, Ballia Link Expressway, Defence Manufacturing Corridor, Semi High-speed Rail Corridor and electric charging stations.

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