The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved the construction of the ambitious Ganga Expressway linking Meerut with Prayagraj district in east UP. The Cabinet, besides granting approval to district-wise alignment of the expressway, also accorded in-principle approval of the estimated cost of the project estimated to be Rs 36,402 crore.
The cabinet has given in-principle approval for funding the expressway project via foreign direct investment (FDI) and has also approved the proposal for appointing SBI Capital Markets Limited as the consultant.
The cabinet has also approved the proposals for mobilising resources for the mega infrastructure project. The gram samaj land will be provided free of cost for the project and the state government will also seek credit from HUDCO for it.
The cabinet also approved the proposal for the monetisation of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. A technical consultant will be appointed to supervise its monetisation.
For the monetisation of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, the cabinet also approved a proposal for authorising Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for setting up a high powered committee to supervise the procedure and operation of the monetisation process and for taking policy decisions on the recommendation of the committee.
The cabinet also decided that the proceeds received from the monetisation of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway will be deposited in the consolidated fund of the UP government and later the funds will be drawn from exchequer through annual budget.
In view of the huge cost of the project, the cabinet approved the proposal for exploring the possibility of executing the project through PPP model and inviting Expression of Interest (EIO) from potential investors.
The proposal for Ganga Expressway as approved by the cabinet said, “After exhausting all options for funding the project, the administrative department — the UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority — will consider other options.”
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced construction of Ganga Expressway connecting Meerut with Prayagraj during the Kumbh Mela 2019. The project was pending for the last 15 years. Immediately, after the chief minister’s announcement, the government started work on the state’s longest, six-lane (expandable to eight lanes) 600-km-long expressway connecting west UP with east UP.
The expressway will start from NH-235 near Shankarpur village in Meerut and will end at NH 330 near Soraon in Prayagraj district. Of the total cost of the project Rs 9,500 crore will be spent on acquisition of land and the rest on the construction of the highway.
The unique aspect of Ganga Expressway is that it will link other expressways in the state through Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway and Ballia Link Expressway. Once completed, the total network of expressways in UP will be 1,900 km and it will provide pace to industrial and agriculture development and draw investments in various sectors.
The expressway will pass through 12 districts — Meerut, Bulandshahar, Hapur, Amroha, Sambhal, Budaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj. All cities, towns, highways and roads on the expressway will be connected with 19 inter-changes. This expressway will require 6,556 hectares of land and it will be access-controlled and four-lane expandable to six lanes.