Uttar Pradesh is readying to throw open the Purvanchal Expressway to the public from January 26 next year ahead of the deadline as it is going ahead full steam on its big road projects amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) and UP Expressway Development Authority CEO Awanish Awasthi.
The CEO on Saturday made a spot inspection of the work on the expressway. He said 64 percent of the physical work of the project had been completed and railway over bridge, flyovers and other structures would be completed within the scheduled time.
The 340-km-long expressway, whose foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018, would connect Lucknow with Ghazipur, Awasthi said.
The deadline for its completion was earlier set for April 2021, 30 months after the work began.
The CEO, who inspected the work in package-1 in Lucknow, said the work on rail over bridge would be completed by January next year and the toll plaza would be made operational by March 31. He said directions had been issued for expediting the import of material and equipment needed for the toll plaza.
Awasthi also inspected work on packages 2 and 3.
The expressway will commence from Chandsarai in Lucknow and end at village Haideriya in Ghazipur district.
Another major project, the Bundelkhand Expressway, whose foundation stone was also laid by the PM, will be made operational by the end of 2021, Awasthi said.
This expressway was important as it would service the upcoming defence corridor in UP and help investors get a fast road link to Delhi, he said.
UP plans to invite international bids for a private-public partnership (PPP) to construct one of the country’s longest expressways, the 628-km-long Ganga Expressway from Meerut to Prayagraj, at a cost of Rs 33,000 crore. Awasthi described the project as “one of the biggest challenges” for the state government given its scale.
“In Phase-2 of this project, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wants us to take the Ganga Expressway up to Haridwar and Varanasi which will make its length over 1,000 km,” he said. This network of expressways will open the entire UP to Delhi and benefit Bihar as well, Awasthi said.
“We have seen that people prefer to move by road from Delhi to Lucknow through the Agra-Lucknow Expressway than by air. There is a jump in traffic on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway after the ‘unlock’ happened, as people now prefer their own transport,” Awasthi said.