In a bid to expedite land acquisition for the proposed Bundelkhand Expressway, the Uttar Pradesh government has released Rs 640 crore to make payments to land owners. The Industrial Development Department has issued a government order in this regard. "The government has issued Rs 640 crore to the district magistrates of Chitrakut, Banda, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah to expedite acquisition of land for the expressway," a senior government official said here Friday. While Rs 210 crore has been given to Jalaun followed by Rs 136 crore to Auraiya, Rs 100 crore for Banda, Rs 82 crore for Hamipur, Rs 45 crore for Mahoba besides other districts, he said. In a tribute to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the UP government had decided to name the proposed Bundelkhand Expressway as Atal Path, which is likely to pass through Bateshwar in Agras Bah tehsil, the ancestral village of Vajpayee. UP Transport Minister Swatantra Dev Singh had made the announcement in August saying that a notification about the naming would be issued soon. "This is the best way to pay respect to the great statesman," he had said. The proposed expressway project route was amended to connect Bateshwar, after Bah BJP legislator Pakshalika Singh wrote a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. According to officials, the Bundelkhand Expressway will be a four-lane 293-km-long project. It will start from Jhansi and will pass through the states most backward districts like Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur, Auraiya and Jalaun. From Jalaun, the expressway will pass through Etawah district and reach Naseempur via Bateshwar before joining the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.