Uttar Pradesh To Get Sixth E-Way With Inauguration Of Bundelkhand Expressway; Nearly 2,000 Km Of Expressway Network Under Construction

Uttar Pradesh To Get Sixth E-Way With Inauguration Of Bundelkhand Expressway; Nearly 2,000 Km Of Expressway Network Under Construction

by Amit Mishra - Friday, July 15, 2022 06:42 PM IST
Uttar Pradesh To Get Sixth E-Way With Inauguration Of Bundelkhand Expressway; Nearly 2,000 Km Of Expressway Network Under ConstructionUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
  • With the inauguration of the Bundelkhand Expressway, Uttar Pradesh will get its sixth operational expressway.

On Saturday (16 July), Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 296-kilometre-long Bundelkhand Expressway, which links the seven districts that form Uttar Pradesh's part of Bundelkhand with the Lucknow-Agra Expressway and to the National Capital Region.

With the inauguration of the expressway, Uttar Pradesh will get its sixth operational expressway. Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to have 13 expressways. Of the 13 expressways spanning 3,200 km, six are operational, while work is underway on seven.

UP's Operational Expressways

1. Yamuna (Agra-Noida) Expressway — 165 km
2. Noida-Greater Noida Expressway — 25 km
3. Agra-Lucknow Expressway — 302 km
4. Delhi-Meerut Expressway — 96 km
5. Purvanchal Expressway — 341 km
6. Bundelkhand Expressway — 296 km

Total length = 1,225 km

UP's Under-Construction Expressways

1. Gorakhpur Link Expressway — 91 km
2. Ganga Expressway — 594 km
3. Lucknow-Kanpur Expressway — 63 km
4. Ghaziabad-Kanpur Expressway — 380 km
5. Gorakhpur-Siliguri Expressway — 519 km
6. Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Expressway — 210 km
7. Ghazipur-Ballia-Manjhi Ghat Expressway — 117 km

Total length = 1,974 km

Existing Network Of Highways

Uttar Pradesh, the fourth largest state in the country, covering 9 per cent of the total geographic area, has the longest network of expressways in the country. When the Yogi Adityanath government came to power in the state in 2017, the state had only two major functional expressways, the Yamuna Expressway connecting Agra to the National Capital Region and the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, connecting the city to the state capital.

The 165 km Noida-Agra six-lane access controlled expressway was built under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode by the Bahujan Samaj Party government and has been in operation since August 2012. It was proposed under the Rajnath Singh-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in 2002.

The work of linking this expressway with the state capital through another high speed 6-lane corridor, called the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, was started by the Samajwadi Party government and been successfully completed. The 302 km long expressway was operationalised in 2017, ahead of the assembly elections in the state.

The Yamuna Expressway and Agra-Lucknow Expressway network starting from Noida in National Capital Region to Lucknow provides seamless travel in the western part of the state. The authority, in order to transfer this benefit to the eastern region of the etate, has further developed another six-lane access controlled expressway called the Purvanchal Expressway.

With the construction of Purvanchal Expressway, the eastern region of the state has been connected to the state capital and through the Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Yamuna Expressway, the corridor of fast and easy traffic from the state capital to the National Capital Region.

The 340-km-long Purvanchal Expressway was built under the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government and operationalised in 2021.

With these three operational expressways, built by three successive governments, Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to have expressways running across its entire length.

Purvanchal Expressway: Fulcrum Of Connectivity

The six-lane wide (expandable to eight lanes) Purvanchal Expressway is a strategically significant project. It starts from Chaudsarai village in Lucknow and ends at village Hydaria located on NH 31, 18 km east of UP-Bihar border.

The expressway which has been developed by the Uttar Pradesh Expressway Development Authority (UPEIDA) was inaugurated on 16 November 2021 by the Prime Minister at Kurebhar Airstrip in Sultanpur district. According to the UPEIDA, the Purvanchal Expressway has been completed in record time of 36 months. The construction of the expressway began in October 2018 with the completion deadline set for October 2021.

Constructed at a cost of about Rs 22,500 crore, the expressway will give a boost to the economic development of eastern part of the state especially the districts of Lucknow, Barabanki, Amethi, Ayodhya, Sultanpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur.

With the opening of the Purvanchal Expressway, the state now has expressway connectivity between its eastern border with Bihar and the western boundary with Delhi, which are at present taking longer routes through existing NHs, state highways (SHs) and major district roads (MDRs).

Bundelkhand Expressway: Glory Onto Ravines

The 296-km-long Bundelkhand Expressway will connect Chitrakoot in underdeveloped and parched Bundelkhand region of the state with the Agra-Lucknow Expressway near Etawah. It starts near Bharatkoot at Jhansi-Prayagraj NH-35 in district Chitrakoot in Bundelkhand and merges with the Agra-Lucknow Expressway near Kudrail village in Etawah district.

With the foundation stone of UP’s fourth expressway laid in February 2020, the ambitious project has been completed in record 28 months — eight months ahead of its deadline, the government said.

Built by UPEIDA at a cost of Rs 14,850 crore, the four-lane expressway, which can be expanded to six lanes later, will pass through seven districts of Uttar Pradesh — Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah.

According to officials, the total cost of the project is estimated to be about Rs 15,000 crore. However, the government has saved about Rs 1,132 crore by opting for e-tendering.

This expressway will link the Bundelkhand area from the national capital Delhi through the Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Yamuna Expressway and is expected to reduce travel time between Delhi and Chitrakoot to just six hours from the 9-10 hours earlier.

The project is also significant as the government has ambitious plans to boost the economic activity of the Bundelkhand region with this expressway project. In the next step, the government plans to develop industrial hubs along the expressway in Banda and Jalaun districts, with a consultant hired to undertake the feasibility study.

Gorakhpur Link Expressway

The 91.35-km-long Gorakhpur Link Expressway is an under construction expressway to link the Purvanchal Expressway with the Gorakhpur district, the constituency of the Chief Minister and the seat of the Gorakhnath Peeth which Yogi Adityanath continues to head as mahant.

The four-lane access-controlled expressway (expandable up to six lanes) begins at Jaitpur in Gorakhpur district, passes through Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkarnagar and Azamgarh districts before merging with the Purvanchal Expressway near Salarpur in Azamgarh district.

The greenfield project was first announced in 2018 with land acquisition starting in February 2019. Construction work started in February 2020.

The approved project cost for this expressway, including land cost, is Rs 5,876 crore. Despite the initial slowdown due to Covid-19 induced restrictions, work on the expressway has reached overall progress of 43 per cent as of May 2022.

Ganga Expressway

This 594-km expressway starts from NH-334 near the Bijauli village in Meerut district and terminates on NH-19 near Judapur Dandu village in Prayagraj.

Traversing through 12 districts — Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareilly, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj — the expressway would connect the eastern and western parts of the state. The foundation stone for Ganga Expressway, a fully access-controlled six-lane expressway, was laid by the Prime Minister in Shahjahanpur on 18 December 2021.

The project joins a long list of big ticket infrastructure projects in the state and will provide direct high speed connectivity from Meerut to Prayagraj. It will decrease travel time between Meerut and Prayagraj to eight hours from 11 hours earlier. The expressway will link the northern districts in western Uttar Pradesh with Meerut, which is linked to the National Capital Region with the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, the widest expressway in the country.

Lucknow-Kanpur Expressway

The 62.7 km Lucknow-Kanpur Expressway by NHAI is a six-lane access-controlled road connecting Shaheed Path in Lucknow with Azad Chauraha near Kanpur’s Ganga Bridge.

The expressway will connect Kanpur and Lucknow and the alignment will be parallel to NH-27 which connects Kanpur and Lucknow with a distance of about 8.5 km between existing and proposed parallel road.

The project is a part of the central government’s Bharatmala Pariyojna and is being executed under the hybrid annuity model (HAM). The construction work is likely to start in August 2022 and will reduce the travel time between Lucknow and Kanpur to 40-50 minutes. The expressway was notified as National Expressway 6 in the Gazette of India in December 2020.

Ghaziabad-Kanpur Expressway

The central government in May 2022 approved a 380-km long greenfield economic corridor connecting the two industrial hubs of Kanpur and Ghaziabad.

Passing through nine districts in western UP — Aligarh, Bulandshahr, Kasganj, Kannauj, Kanpur, Farrukhabad, Unnao and Hapur, the corridor will reduce the travel time between the two cities to just three hours. Currently, travelling between Kanpur and Ghaziabad takes six hours through the Yamuna Expressway and eight hours via the NH-9.

The project will likely be completed by 2025, and the highway will initially be four lanes wide. However, there are plans to develop the corridor to eight lanes.

Gorakhpur-Siliguri Expressway

As part of Bharatmala Pariyojna, the central government in 2021 approved a 519 km expressway that would run from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh to Siliguri, West Bengal via Bihar. The land acquisition process for the greenfield expressway has started in the Gorakhpur and Deoria districts of UP.

Around 84 km of this four-lane expressway would pass through Gorakhpur, Deoria and Kushinagar districts in Uttar Pradesh before entering Bihar through Gopalganj. It will pass through Siwan, Chhapra, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Supaul, Saharsa, Purnia and Kishanganj before reaching Siliguri.

The absence of a direct road connecting Gorakhpur with Siliguri makes it nearly a day to cover the distance between the two cities. With most of it passing through northern Bihar, the proposed expressway will reduce the time and distance between Gorakhpur and Siliguri to less than 600 kilometres.

Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Expressway

The 210-km long Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Economic Corridor begins from the Eastern Peripheral Expressway Junction of NCR Delhi and ends near Dehradun. It will have seven major interchanges for Haridwar, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Yamunanagar, Baghpat, Meerut and Baraut.

The corridor, work on which is underway, will reduce the distance between the two cities from 235 km to 210 km, and travel time from 6.5 hours as of now, to just 2.5 hours, once it is completed.

Besides reducing the travel time to the capital of Uttarakhand, the expressway would also improve connectivity to the Hindu spiritual centre, Haridwar, as a greenfield alignment project from the corridor, connecting Halgoa, Saharanpur to Bhadrabad, Haridwar will be constructed at the cost of over Rs 2,000 crore.

The project which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 1 December 2021 is being executed under engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode at a cost of around Rs 8,300 crore.

Ghazipur-Ballia-Manjhi Ghat Expressway

The 117-km-long four-lane highway has been planned by the NHAI to connect the Purvanchal Expressway to Ballia, UP's easternmost district and onwards to Bihar.

The NHAI is currently working on the detailed project report and has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UPEIDA for land acquisition.

The highway will further be extended to Buxar in Bihar by constructing a 17-km road from Ganga Bridge in Ballia to Bharauli in Buxar district of Bihar. With the 340-km long Purvanchal Expressway linked to the Ballia district on the border with Bihar, the traffic on the newly operationalised expressway will increase significantly.

Expressway Pradesh

The Bundelkhand Expressway will be the sixth expressway to be operational in the state, taking the total expressway network in the state to over 1,200 km. Over 1,900 km of expressways will be operational in the state in the next four years. So what explains the big push behind expressway construction in the state ?

“UP is a large state and CM Yogi Adityanath has a view that the state should be totally integrated so that all areas connect with each other and development happens all-round. That is why a series of 13 expressways were proposed,” UPEIDA CEO Awasthi told News18.

“A need was considered to remove the backwardness in Purvanchal and hence an expressway was built there. Lucknow is now connected to Ghazipur, and Purvanchal got integrated with main frame of the state with that expressway. Now, Bundelkhand is getting integrated with main frame of the state,” Awasthi says.

The next big-ticket project which is going to be operational is UP's longest Ganga Expressway. “When the Kumbh was last held in Prayagraj, the Cabinet held there declared the Ganga Expressway project. Work will start very soon and we are hopeful that it will be ready by the next Kumbh in 2025,” Awasthi said.

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