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Eye on 2024, Yogi govt speeds up Rs 36,000 crore Ganga e-way, construction to start in September

The 595-km Ganga Expressway will connect 12 districts in state. UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority chair says work will take 36 months to complete after it starts next month.

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New Delhi: With all the required clearances under its belt, the Uttar Pradesh government is gearing up to kickstart construction on the 595-km Ganga Expressway, one of India’s largest public-private partnership (PPP) projects, by 30 September.

Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election, the Yogi Adityanath government is going all out to expedite work on the Rs 36,000 crore expressway that will connect Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh, and Prayagraj districts.

Awanish Awasthi, chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), told ThePrint that once work starts, it will take 36 months to complete the project.

“Close to 60 per cent of clearing and grubbing work on the project has been completed. We have got the environment and forest clearance. The construction company has set up its office. Physical work on the ground will start by 30 September,” Awasthi said.

UPEIDA has already acquired more than 94 per cent of the land required, according to Awasthi, who is also additional chief secretary (home) in the UP government. In all, the project requires about 7,974 hectares of land.

Graphic: Soham Sen | ThePrint
Graphic: Soham Sen | ThePrint

The Ganga Expressway will have six lanes but will be expandable up to eight.

Four expressways — Yamuna, Agra-Lucknow, Purvanchal and Bundelkhand — are already operational in UP. Awasthi added that once complete, the Ganga Expressway, along with the proposed 91-km Gorakhpur Link, will complete the grid. All the expressways are interlinked.

Airstrip for emergency landing

Like the Agra-Lucknow and Purvanchal expressways, a small stretch of the Ganga Expressway will be converted into an airstrip, for Indian Air Force fighter jets to make emergency landings, Awasthi said. A 3.5-km runway will be developed on the expressway at Shahjahanpur.

The project will have a concession period of 30 years, and has been divided into 12 packages, which will be executed by two private concessionaires. While IRB Infrastructure Developers will execute three packages, Adani Enterprises will execute nine packages.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the project last December at Shahjahanpur.

Once the Ganga Expressway is ready, UP will have a network of 1,697 km of expressways — by far the largest in the country. Currently, the total expressway network in India is around 1,822 km.

Also read: Is Yogi 2.0 all about bulldozers & anti-Muslim politics? View inside govt is just the opposite

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