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SUV plunges over 15 feet after road along Agra-Lucknow expressway caves in; probe ordered

The 302-km long expressway, which costs nearly Rs 15,000 crore, was completed in record time of 23 months.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2018 20:43 IST
Hemendra Chaturvedi
Hemendra Chaturvedi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
SUV accident,Agra Lucknow Expressway,Uttar Pradesh
No one was injured in the accident.(ANI Photo)

Four people had a narrow escape after their car fell into a nearly 20-feet deep ditch created after a portion of a service road caved in along the Agra-Lucknow Expressway on Wednesday morning following heavy rains, police said.

“The incident took place at 6am near Wazidpur Pulia, about 16km from Agra. Though the driver applied brakes, the vehicle slipped into the ditch. All the occupants of the vehicle, who were on their way for Kannauj from Mumbai, are safe,” in-charge of Doki police station in Agra Nitin Kasana said.

Rachit Kumar, the driver of the SUV, said they were coming from Mumbai after buying the car and tracing the route through Google. Kumar said they got into the service road after losing the internet connection.

“I applied brakes as soon as I saw that the road ahead had caved in but our car slipped into it,” he said.

The state government asked railways consultancy firm RITES Limited to carry out an inquiry into the incident and submit its report within 15 days.

“The construction of the damaged road will be done by the construction agency at its cost,” Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) chairman Avanish Awasthi said.

The government asked the construction agency to carry out the repair work. It also directed all the agencies to take precautionary measures after heavy rains in the state.

Constructed by UPEIDA in a record time of 23 months, the Agra-Lucknow Expressway — an ambitious project of the Samajwadi Party government – was inaugurated by former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on November 21, 2016.

It is the country’s longest access-controlled greenfield expressway on which the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighters jets can land and take-off in case of an emergency.

The six-lane expressway, considered to be the longest in India, has cut down the travel time between the two cities from seven hours to three-and-a-half hours but accidents and mishaps have remained a cause for concern.

A query filed under the right to information act by activist KC Jain revealed that at least 100 people have died in 853 accidents between August 2017 and March 2018, the primary reason being over-speeding by drivers.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath recently ordered a probe after deep pits were found on the Inner Ring Road connecting National Highway 2 with Gwalior Road in Agra.

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 14:56 IST