The Yogi government is certain to lay the foundation stone of much-hyped Bundelkhand Expressway before the notification for Lok Sabha elections in March this year. “Officials of Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) have been asked to speed up ground work so that the foundation of Bundelkhand Expressway can be laid before March,” a senior official told 'The Pioneer' in Lucknow on Tuesday.
The proposed Bundelkhand Expressway is a 294-kilometre, four-lane access-controlled highway. This will start from Etawah and after joining Agra-Lucknow Expressway, pass through Auraiya, Jalaun, Orai, Rath, Banda and Chitrakoot. As Agra-Lucknow Expressway connects Agra-Noida Yamuna Expressway, commutation time between Delhi and Chitrakoot will be reduced by almost eight hours.
The official said that as the Defence Corridor was also to come up along Bundelkhand Expressway, the government wanted to expedite the project as the twin schemes were bound to change the face of Bundelkhand.
A series of meetings have been held between officials of UPEIDA and Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey, where directions were given to speed up land procurement for the project.
Funds in the excess of Rs 3,000 crore have been earmarked for the purchase of land while an additional Rs 11,000 crore will be required to build the Expressway. Over 60 per cent of the project will be financed by private players. “UPEIDA officials have been asked to complete land purchase by January-end so that levelling can be started by February. In the next budget, we are expecting a good budgetary allocation and once the foundation is laid before announcement of poll notification, work would continue,” the official said.
The tentative date for foundation laying of the project is March 3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi may attend the function. The notification for Lok sabha elections is likely to be issued by March 7. The Yogi government is trying to hasten the foundation-laying ceremony keeping Lok sabha elections in mind so that the BJP can go to the people claiming that it started the construction of the Expressway within a year.