LUCKNOW: By the time Yogi Adityanath government completes its tenure in 2022, it intends to put the state in the fast lane of all-round development, which it hopes to make possible through a robust infrastructural framework giving boost to much-needed connectivity. This means, before the next Assembly elections, UP will have a network of eight expressways criss-crossing the state, totalling almost 2,500 km — the highest for any state in India — if all goes as per plan.
UP already has the longest expressway in the country — linking Delhi to Lucknow through Yamuna Expressway, which is connected with Agra-Lucknow Expressway, helping people cover the 500-km stretch in five-and-a-half hours. Four more expressways are underway. On February 29, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation of the Bundelkhand Expressway project. The 296-km e-way will connect Chitrakoot with the Agra-Lucknow Expressway near Bateshwar, thus offering a smooth four-lane drive from national capital till the southern point of UP.
The proposed expressway will give a much needed fillip to the development of the backward region of Bundelkhand, which has been craving for growth since Independence. The e-way will bring Bundelkhand into mainstream by connecting it with the national capital through the 302-km Agra-Lucknow Expressway and the 165-km long Yamuna Expressway. It will be supplementing the nodes of the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor.
An ambitious Defence Corridor project accorded to UP by the Centre in February 2018 is coming up with six nodal points including Agra, Aligarh, Kanpur, Lucknow, Chitrakoot and Jhansi. In November, the state government had finalised the alignment of India’s longest proposed Ganga Expressway. The 628-km e-way will connect Delhi and Prayagraj via Meerut. However, it could stretch beyond 1,000 km as the Yogi government plans to extend it to the state’s northwest border with Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Bihar.
Another big-ticket project is the 354-km Purvanchal Expresswa, which starts from Chandsarai village in Lucknow and ends at Haidaria village in Ghazipur (18 km from Bihar border).
After completion of the project, Lucknow will be the point to connect all those districts with Lucknow-Agra Expressway and Yamuna Expressway. The 91-km Gorakhpur link expressway will commence from Gorakhpur and connect with Purvanchal Expressway at Azamgarh, giving much-needed connectivity to eastern Uttar Pradesh districts with the state capital and finally to the national capital.