The Uttar Pradesh government approved an ambitious 594-km Ganga Expressway project running along the river from Haridwar to Allahabad. The decision to build the expressway between the two cities on the riverbank that will pass through 12 districts- Meerut, Bulandshahar, Hapur, Amroha, Sambhal, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj-was taken in a UP Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Cabinet also approved a district-wise alignment of the Expressway, an official release said on November 25.
Here's everything you need to know about the expressway-said to be the dream project of chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
The expressway from Meerut to Prayagraj will start from NH-235, near Shankarpur village in Meerut and will end at NH 330 near Soraon in Prayagraj district.
"The unique aspect of Ganga Expressway is that it will link other expressways in the state through Lucknow-Agra Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway and Ballia Link Expressway. Once completed, the total network of expressways in Uttar Pradesh will be 1,900 km and provide pace to industrial, agriculture development and draw investments in various sectors," Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority' s CEO Awanish Kumar Awasthi told Hindustan Times.
In its statement, the UP government promised that besides providing a smooth and fast traffic movement from Haridwar to Allahabad, almost parallel to the river Ganga, the expressway will also be helpful in the social and economic development of the state. Additionally, the traffic coming through the waterway being built from Haldia to Varanasi will also be able to travel easily to Delhi and other states via Allahabad.
Cost of the project:
The government has sanctioned Rs 36,402 crore for the project. According to a report in The Economic Times, the construction cost of the six-lane expressway is pegged at Rs 22,145 crore while the land acquisition is likely to come up to nearly Rs 9,255 crore and other expenses are estimated at nearly Rs 5,000 crore.
In addition, the state government in its official release disclosed that it plans to hire SBI Capital Markets as a financial advisor for the project and constitute a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for arranging funds to construct one of the longest expressways in the state. The Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority too was asked to complete the preparatory operations for the project in time and approval was given to explore the option of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for it.
The government also plans to monetise the Agra-Lucknow Expressway for funding the ambitious Ganga Expressway project and decided to set up a high-power committee to take procedural and operational decisions to monetise the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, reported PTI.
When will the expressway come up?
According to the report in ET, the state's CM plans to lay the foundation stone of the project in June 2021 after the acquisition of a majority of the 7,800 hectares in 529 villages for the project. According to officials, the expressway is expected to come up by 2024.With inputs from PTI