By VIRENDRA SINGH RAWAT
The web of Expressways in UP will contribute immensely towards achieving the goal of the state becoming a $1 trillion economy, Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said.
LUCKNOW, Sep 2 (The CONNECT) - With the elections to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly less than six months away, the Yogi Adityanath cabinet on Thursday gave its ‘holistic’ approval to the mega Rs 36,000 crore Ganga Expressway project, which is touted to be the largest access-controlled expressway in India.
The cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi okayed the bidding document of the nearly 600-km project to be developed on the public private partnership (PPP) model of DBFOT (design, build, finance, operate, transfer).
According to UP cabinet minister Sidharth Nath Singh, the bidding process will be completed within two months.
“The six-lane project, expandable to eight lanes, has been divided into four packages with each of the packages entailing investment of Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 5,800 crore. The state will sign a 30-year agreement with the concessionaires,” he told the media after the cabinet meeting.
Meanwhile, 92 percent of the 6,612 hectares of land required for the project has already been acquired. The land cost is estimated at Rs 9,225 crore of the expressway’s total cost of Rs 36,230 crore.
“The web of expressways in UP will contribute immensely towards achieving the goal of the state becoming a $1 trillion economy,” Singh noted.
The government has already tied up with banks for funding the land acquisition costs of the infra project.
The Ganga Expressway will also comprise an airstrip for the landing and takeoff of aircraft during emergencies on the lines of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Purvanchal Expressway.
Ganga Expressway is among the flagship projects of the Yogi government, which is expected to be held aloft for publicity of the ‘pro-investment’ plank of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in run up to the crucial 2022 state elections.
The project will cut across Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahar, Amroha, Sambhal, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj districts.
Meanwhile, the UP cabinet also approved the proposal of upgrading the defence airstrip in Lalitpur district of Bundelkhand to allow for the operation of commercial flights. The UP government will also acquire more than 91 hectares of land spanning two villages at a cost of Rs 8,665 crore for the purpose.
The Lalitpur airport will be subsequently upgraded as an international airport, since a drug park has been proposed in the district while UP Defence Corridor is also being developed in the region.