UP plans 5 more expressways to boost infrastructure

Written by Deepa Jainai | Lucknow, Jul 25 | Updated: Jul 26 2008, 05:36am hrs
Though slightly late, the Uttar Pradesh government finally seems to have woken up to the fact that good road connectivity is the key to business linkages and a buoyant economy.

In order to realise that dream, as many as five more expressways are being planned, which will crisscross the state from all corners. These five will be in addition to the Taj expressway and the Ganga expressways, work on which has already begun.

Totaling around 2,500 km, these five expressways have been conceptualised along the major rivers that cut across the stateYamuna, Betwa, Ghaghra, Ram Ganga and Hindan. Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) is authorised to explore the technical as well financial feasibility of these expressways.

The proposed expressways include, 250 km eight-lane Ghaziabad-Saharanpur-Dehradun expressway on river Hindan, 950-kms long Jhansi-Kanpur-Lucknow-Gorakhpur-Kushinagar expressway, 500-kms Agra-Kanpur expressway on river Yamuna, the 350-kms Bijnore-Moradabad-Fatehgarh expressway on river Ram Ganga and the Lucknow-Barabanki-Nanpara expressway near the Nepal border.

Speaking to FE, a senior official involved in planning the projects revealed that the concept report for the Ghaziabad- Dehradun-Haridwar expressway, which will be the first inter-state venture between Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, is ready and the preliminary environment clearance on it received.

Work for initializing this project is in an advanced stage and the government is all set to invite expressions of interest from consultants to prepare a detailed feasibility report on the project, he said. It has been decided that while the Uttarakhand government would bear the cost of building the Saharanpur-Dehradun stretch of the expressway, Uttar Pradesh will build the stretch from Ghaziabad to Saharanpur.

The project is to be constructed on a buildoperate and transfer basis and would touch Meerut, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar and Kulesra (Saharanpur), which is on the UP-Uttarakhand border. From there, the expressway will be extended to Dehradun and Hardwar.

Meanwhile, the concept report for the Jhansi-Kushinagar mega expressway, which is being planned on Betwa and Ghaghra rivers at an have been submitted to the state cabinet for approval soon.

In the case of Bijnore-Fatehrarh expressway and the Lucknow-Nanpara expressway, the concept reports are under different stages of preparation, while the Agra-Kanpur project is still in a very nascent stage.

The PWD is working on its concept and once they feel that the project is viable, they will get a consultant to prepare a report on it said the official.

As in the case of the Taj and Ganga Expressways, we plan to take the public-private-patnership route for these projects and would, therefore, not need the Centre for any assistance in funding them. We will raise resources for the projects by leveraging land,he said.

When asked as to how much land the projects would require, the official said that work on calculating that and other details was on.