Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday announced Rs 40,000 crore Ganga Expressway from Ballia to Noida on the left bank of the river Ganga.
The Cabinet on Wednesday gave approval to the 1000 kms long expressway project that is likely to be completed within three years. The central government has already given environmental clearance and the process for the appointment of consultants was underway.
The highway project would connect eastern and western UP and it would prove a boon for Poorvanchal, Mayawati told newsmen in Lucknow on Wednesday. It would also have seven link expressways connecting every region of the state with the main road. "It would boost development in Poorvanchal and Bundelkhand," Mayawati said and added the government would invite private investors to take up the eight-lane expressway. Since it is along the banks of river Ganga, the irrigation department headed by minister Nasimuddin Siddique would be the main government agency.
"Conceived in private sector the government would only be a facilitator," the chief minister said. The project would also help in controlling the perennial problem of flood and land erosion, she said. The farmers would be able to quickly transport perishable farm products to the market, Mayawati said.
The Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said "it would be a toll road" but the viability of the project with such a huge investment could not be only on the basis of toll and the investors would be allowed to develop industrial and commercial hubs and residential colonies along with route. The expressway would run 3 to 5 kms away from the river and irrigation department would provide the land. Ruling out the possibility of any major displacement of people, Singh said the investors would also acquire land under the project.
By January 2008 the chief minister would lay foundation of the project, he said and added the techno-economic feasibility report would be available within the next few months. He said the original cost of the expressway would be Rs 26000 crore and the remaining Rs 14000 crore expenditure would be on other infrastructure development.
The seven link ways would however be developed in the future, the chief minister said. Ganga Expressway would pass through Gautam Buddha Nagar, Bulandshahr, Badaun, Shahjehanpur, Fatehgarh, Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh, Allahabad, Sant Ravidasnagar, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Ghazipur and Ballia.