Covid cases down, UP govt shifts focus back on completing four expressways
After the decline in the Covid cases, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to give momentum to the construction of Purvanchal, Ganga Expressway, Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur Link expressways.
The plan was to complete the construction of 340 km long Purvanchal Expressway by April but the second wave of the Covid pandemic slowed down the construction activities as the state government shifted focus on strengthening the health facilities in the hospitals, maintaining oxygen supply, increasing sample test, vaccination, surveillance in the rural areas.
With the active Covid cases coming down to 52,244 on Friday from 3.10 lakh active cases on April 30, the construction activities have been expedited.
Chief executive officer, UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), Awanish Kumar Awasthi said, 90% of the physical work on the Purvanchal expressway has been completed despite obstruction caused by the second wave of Covid-19.
The construction agencies are working overtime to achieve the pre-pandemic progress rate on all the eight packages.
The state government plans to open the expressway for traffic on June 30, the schedule date for the completion of this project is October 2021, he said.
The six-lane Purvanchal expressway originates from Chandsarai village located on Lucknow-Sultanpur highway.
It will pass through Barabanki, Amethi, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau, it will terminate 18 km before UP-Bihar border at village Haideria in Ghazipur district.
An airstrip is being developed on the expressway in Sultanpur district for the emergency landing of the Air force planes. The estimated cost of the projects is ₹22,496.93 crore (including land cost), he said.
A consortium of the banks formed for the projects gave full support with sanctioning the loan on the priority basis. The support of the banks has accelerated the construction works during the pandemic, he said.
The construction work on the four-lane 296 km Bundelkhand expressway has also picked up.
Till Friday, 59% of the physical work has been completed. The estimated cost of the project, including land acquisition is ₹14,709 crore. The state government has decided to complete the construction of the main carriageway of the expressway by end of 2021 whereas the schedule for the completion of the project is March 2022.
To give thrust to the project, the state government on Thursday released ₹500 crore for the construction work of the Bundelkhand expressway. Starting from Chitrakoot, the expressway will pass through Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Auraiya, Etawah to merge with Agra–Lucknow expressway.
Along with tourism, the expressway will give boost to development in the backward Bundelkhand region with connecting it with central and west UP, he said.
The state government plans to acquire 7,800-hectare land for the 594 km six-lane Ganga expressway, the acquisition of land has been launched on war footing and till Friday 3,100 hectares land has been acquired. The state government on Thursday released ₹327 crore for acquisition of land in Hapur and Bulandshahar districts.
The state government has sanctioned ₹37,350 crore for the project of which ₹9,500 crore will be spent on the acquisition of the land and ₹24,091 on the construction works. The expressway will commence near Bijauli village in Meerut district, it will pass through Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh districts to and at Judapur Dando village in Prayagraj, he said.
The state government has completed 22.18% physical work on the four-lane 91 km Gorakhpur Link Expressway.
Commencing from Jaitpur village in Gorakhpur district it will end at Salarpur village in Azamgarh district passing through Ambedkar Nagar and Sant Kabir Nagar districts. The scheduled completion of the project is April 2022, he said.