If you thought the Greater Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway will ensure a two-and-half-hour smooth drive from Delhi to the Taj Mahal, as claimed by Jaypee Infratech and the government, here's a dampener.
The expressway ends well before the Taj. And commuters end up with two options: A 14-km-long (Kanpur) service lane will take you there in 35 minutes; the other route via Jeevani Mandi road is 23-km-long, will take you to the Taj in an hour and is considered the worst stretch in the city.
The state government has for long been trying to build a Ring Road but the plan continues to face roadblocks. "Land has been acquired. But Jaypee has withdrawn from the project," said KC Jain, secretary of Agra Development Foundation, an NGO which is fighting for the road.
"The chief minister wants to revive this project," he added.
"All signboards on the Expressway put the distance at 185 km, while the length of expressway is 165 km," said Rakesh Tyagi, 29, who drove to Agra on Thursday.
Joint MD of Jaypee Infratech, Sameer Gaur, tried to explain, "The 165km drive takes you to the city limits, while you need to drive 185km to get to the Agra bus stand." On the issue of last-mile connectivity, he said, "Land has been acquired. We will soon sort it out."
A delegation of Agra Development Foundation met the commissioner of Agra, Manjeet Singh, and sought improvement of traffic situation by removing encroachments and shifting electric poles.