UP govt speeds up land acquisition for 91-km Gorakhpur Link Expressway

(FILE PIC) Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath | Photo (PTI)
The Uttar Pradesh government has expedited the process of land acquisition for flagship 91-km expressway project in Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s pocket borough of Gorakhpur.

The mega project spanning four districts viz. Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh is estimated to cost more than Rs 5,800 crore. It is estimated to benefit a total population of 50 million in Gorakhpur, and adjoining pockets by providing a fast connectivity for public and movement of goods, including agricultural and industrial.

Now, nodal agency UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) has released Rs 275 crore to speed up land acquisition for the infra project, which is among the flagship projects of the Adityanath dispensation.

According to UPEIDA CEO Awanish Kumar Awasthi, of the Rs 275 crore, Rs 50 crore, Rs 153 crore and Rs 52 crore would be paid to land owners in Gorakhpur, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts respectively.

The funds have already been allocated to the respective district magistrates with the rider to settle land acquisition dues of farmers within a month, so that the ongoing civil and other construction works on the expressway continued unabated and that there were no pending grievances of the land owners.

Gorakhpur Link Expressway was divided into two packages and awarded to Apco Infratech and Dilip Buildcon for development.

Earlier, public sector Punjab National Bank (PNB) had provided a credit of Rs 750 crore for Gorakhpur Link Expressway, which will link the region with another mega expressway project underway, 340 km Purvanchal Expressway.

So far, the state government has arranged Rs 2,250 crore in total loans for Gorakhpur Link Expressway, including Rs 750 crore fresh borrowings from the PNB.

While, the PNB has provided a loan of Rs 750 crore for Gorakhpur Link Expressway, earlier Rs 2,300 crore was also extended in credit for Purvanchal Expressway, which is touted to cost Rs 23,000 crore.

Purvanchal Expressway was divided into eight packages, and awarded to different companies for ensuring time-bound completion. It runs across nine districts viz. Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur.

Gorakhpur Link Expressway is the fifth greenfield expressway project in the state after Yamuna Expressway, Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway and Bundelkhand Expressway.

Another mega Ganga Expressway project has been proposed by the Adityanath government, for which the bidding process is likely to begin soon. The government is also actively providing construction-related jobs to migrant workers in these infra projects.

UPEIDA had estimated civil work and land cost of the 628-km Ganga Expressway project at Rs 21,000 crore and Rs 9,000 crore respectively, thus totalling Rs 30,000 crore.

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

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