UP govt set to launch Ganga Expressway project, to cost Rs 30,000 crore

The Gorakhpur Link Expressway will cut through Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts.
Even as three expressway projects totalling over Rs 42,500 crore are under different stages of construction, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to launch another mega project - Ganga Expressway.

Nodal agency, UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) has estimated the civil work and land cost of the 628 km project at nearly Rs 21,000 crore and Rs 9,000 crore respectively, thus totalling Rs 30,000 crore.

The other three projects already underway are 340 km Purvanchal Expressway, 296 km Bundelkhand Expressway and 91 km Gorakhpur Link Expressway, which are estimated to cost Rs 23,000 crore, Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 4,600 crore respectively.

Chairing a review meeting here yesterday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath directed official to top gear the proposed 16 lane Ganga Expressway project, which will link 12 districts between Prayagraj (Allahabad) and Meerut.

According to UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi, the project will be divided into 12 separate packages for simultaneous development by concessionaires, who would be selected through a competitive bidding process like other ongoing projects.

With 2022 UP elections less than two years away, the Adityanath government is expediting all the expressway projects, since they are the most visible specimen of development in the hinterland, and spur local economy along their course.

In the backdrop of the large influx of migrants from other states, the state is expecting these mega projects to create local level jobs.

Before the lockdown was announced, chief secretary R K Tiwari had asked UPEIDA to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) for Ganga Expressway by March 20, so that it could be placed before the state cabinet for approval. However, the subsequent lockdown delayed the process by nearly two months.

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

Meanwhile, Awasthi said the work was going on in full swing in all other expressway projects and large number of labourers had been deployed to make-up for the loss of civil works during the lockdown period.

“While 45 per cent of the work in Purvanchal Expressway has been completed, we expect to complete almost 50 per cent of the total work by the month end,” he added.

Similarly, the government is targetting to complete 5 per cent of the works in Bundelkhand Expressway, whose foundation was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 29.

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

The Gorakhpur Link Expressway will cut through Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts.

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