All set to be called the longest expressway of India, the 302 km Lucknow-Agra Highway would be completed by the end of October, 2016. Mulayam Singh Yadav laid its foundation in 2014. The determined developers brought the completion date closer from 30 months to 22 months. The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1,500 crore. Ten districts cover 85% of the area under project. These districts include Agra, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kannauj, Kanpur, Unnao, Hardoi and Lucknow. The contract for the project was divided into five parts and entrusted to private developers, for speedy completion. The first package, Agra-Firozabad was given to PNC Infratech, Second (Firozabad-Etawah) and fourth (Kannauj-Unnao) packages were awarded to Afcons Infrastructure, third package (Etawah-Kannauj) to Nagarjuna Construction Company and the fifth package (Unnao-Lucknow) was given to L&T. The motto of “double the speed, triple the economy” was raised by Mr. Akhilesh Yadav, emphasizing the need for better roads.
30,074 farmers in UP willingly gave up their fertile lands to the Samajwadi Party led government. Government acquired nearly 3,000 hectares of land for its Greenfield expressway project by mutual agreements. For this acquisition to be successful government offered four times the circle rate in rural areas and double the circle rate of urban area as the project cost. Besides land holdings, owners were also compensated for the structures built on their lands and unharvested crops.
This project has given employment to thousands of employees who are working hard to finish it up by the deadline. 1,250 engineers along with 1,500 non-technical staff and 22,000 skilled and semi-skilled staff. This brings us down to the conclusion that total man days created by the project in a month are 6.62 lakh.
UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) is building 10 primary schools and one hospital along the expressway. It has also announced that it would have airstrips for army’s fighter aircraft and hangars for their parking. To mention more, it would have trauma centers, 13 major bridges over rivers, 54 minor bridges, 8 interchange, 2 flyovers, 4 ROBs, 74 vehicular underpass, 146 pedestrian underpass, 297 box culverts, 303 huge pipe culverts and two tolls. The work on landscaping the highway with trees and fountains has also begun, with the aim of making it the country’s best highway. In a nutshell, the Lucknow-Agra Expressway is all set to become the lifeline of the 10 districts it covers along with lakhs of people living there. This would be the first Indian Highway that will be a runway for fighter planes in disguise.
The six-lane expressway is expected to reduce the time between Agra and Lucknow to 4 hours, at a top speed of 120 km/hour. It will also help commuters cover a distance of 530 km from greater Noida to Lucknow in 5 hours against the current time of 9 hours.
The state has planned to establish vegetable mandis along the expressway to boost the economy by providing faster and easy transport of agricultural produce, handicrafts, small industries, etc. This region is known for rich dairy, potato, food grains and fruits production.
With such rich and speedy developments taking place, the government is also being foresighted and has already planned to extend the highway beyond Lucknow to connect eastern UP. This would give faster connectivity from eastern UP to NCR.