Ganga Expressway gets going, winning bidders on Jan 14 | business | Hindustan Times
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Ganga Expressway gets going, winning bidders on Jan 14

As per sources four private sector winners, who would build the Rs 40,000-crore project, will be announced as early as January 14, reports Samiran Saha.

business Updated: Jan 06, 2008 22:13 IST
Samiran Saha

Authorities have moved fast to implement the 1,000-km-long Ganga Expressway in Uttar Pradesh, within weeks of the invitation of technical bids. Four private sector winners who would build the Rs 40,000-crore project will be announced as early as January 14, informed sources said.



"Financial bids for the project will be opened on January 13 and winning bidders will be announced on the next day while work on the project will commence on January 15 as per the directives UP chief minister Ms Mayawati," a senior official in the Uttar Pradesh government told

Hindustan Times

.



Infrastructure developers including DLF, Unitech, Reliance Energy and the Japyee Group are among the frontrunners in the race to build the project, which would link Ballia in the remote, underdeveloped part of the state to the national capital's suburb of Noida, throwing up a key infrastructure lifeline aimed at boosting all-round economic growth in the state.



The eight–lane expressway would be built on the left bank of the Ganga, with the state government acting as a facilitator for the project.



The state government had invited technical bids from interested bidders last month and 18 private consortia were shortlisted.



Uttar Pradesh government's UP Expressway Development Authority will form a special purpose vehicle with each of the winning bidder and according to the sources each winning bidder will be given a 250-km stretch to build the expressway.



On completion, the travel time between Eastern and Western UP would be cut short by 16 hours and it would take only eight hours to zip across from Varanasi to Delhi, officials say.



The successful bidders would also be given rights to develop 64,000 hectares of land along the expressway, which they would use for real estate activity including residential, industrial and institutional areas. These would boost the economic viability of the highway.



The expressway would originate from Ballia and pass through Ghazipur, Ramnagar, Varanasi, Chunar, Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Allahabad, Unchahar, Unnao, Kanpur, Bithoor, Kannauj, Fatehgarh, Budaun, Narora and Bulandshahr before touching Noida. A small part of the expressway between Noida and Narora would not run along the course of the river.



Though they are free to develop land by the highway, the developers would have to acquire these vast stretches of land at market rates from the existing owners, mostly farmers.



The inspiration for building the Ganga Expressway was drawn from Emperor Sher Shah Suri, who built the Grand Trunk Road in the 16th Century, although unlike Suri's GT Road which ran alongside the right bank of the Ganga, the new expressway would be built on the left bank of the river.



Link expressways have also been proposed around the Ganga Expressway. These are a Jhansi-Kanpur Link Expressway, a Kanpur-Gorakhpur Link Expressway, an Agra-Kanpur Link Expressway and a Baghpat-Saharanpur- Hardwar-Dehradun Link Expressway.