Yogi Adityanath led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh (UP) has put the Poorvanchal Expressway on the fast track. Adityanath government has issued a directive to finish 90 percent of land acquisition for the project by the end of this month. Sources have told the Indian Express that the UP government is planning to start a fresh bidding exercise for selection of developers of the highway project from July. UP government has already announced that the highway project launched by the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) regime will be completed two years ahead of the Lok Sabha elections which will be held in 2019, according to the Indian Express.
Adityanath government has directed the District Magistrates (DMs) of Azamgarh and Ghazipur to speed up the pace of land acquisition in the districts as the acquisition of the land has been the slowest there. The DMs of Azamgarh and Ghazipur have been instructed to hold camps to conduct registry of the land and to disburse payments to farmers, as per an Indian Express report.
Satish Mahana, UP’s industries minister has told the Indian Express that the state government was concerned about the execution of the highway project. The newly elected UP government has canceled the tenders finalised by the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP government. The new government has awarded contracts to six new firms to develop the 354 km long expressway. The expressway will connect Lucknow, Ghazipur, Barabanki, Amethi, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh and Mau in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Former UP CM Akhilesh had launched the expressway dubbed the Samajwadi Poorvanchal Expressway. The current state government has removed the word ‘Samajwadi’ from the name of the expressway and reduced the estimated cost of the highway by Rs 1,800 crore to Rs 17,200 crore from the original estimate of Rs 19,000 crore.
Fresh tenders will be launched after 80 percent of the land will be made available for the project. Currently, only 40 percent of the land has been acquired by the state government, according to the Indian Express.