The 340-km long expressway, whose foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018, will connect Lucknow to Ghazipur, Awasthi told ET. The deadline for its completion is April 2021, 30 months after work began.
Another major project, the Bundelkhand Expressway, whose foundation stone was also laid by the PM, will be made operational by the end of 2021, said Awasthi. This expressway is important as it will service the upcoming defence corridor in UP and help investors get a fast road link to Delhi, he said.
UP plans to invite international bids for a private-public partnership (PPP) to construct one of the country’s longest expressways, the 628-km long Ganga Expressway from Meerut to Prayagraj, at a cost of Rs 33,000 crore, a project that Awasthi described as “one of the biggest challenges” for the state government given its scale. “In Phase-2 of this project, chief minister Yogi Adityanath wants us to take the Ganga Expressway up to Haridwar and Varanasi which will make its length over 1,000 km,” he said.
This network of expressways will “open the entire UP to Delhi and benefit Bihar as well”, said Awasthi. “We have seen that people prefer to move by road from Delhi to Lucknow through the Agra-Lucknow expressway than by air. There is a jump in traffic on the Lucknow Expressway after the ‘unlock’ happened, as people now prefer their own transport,” he said.
Awasthi, a key officer in the fight against the pandemic, said UP will have conducted 10 million Covid-19 tests by the end of September, and that the CM has specified reduction in deaths as the key priority.
Covid-19 cases in UP have crossed to 250,000 and nearly 3,700 people have died. “Cases will increase as our testing is at the largest level in the country at over 60 lakh tests, and we are doing 1.5 lakh tests daily. We will hit the one crore test mark by the end of September. But our mortality rate has reduced to 1.5% and test positivity rate is among the lowest in India,” said Awasthi.
Awasthi stressed that UP had performed better than developed countries such as the USA and Brazil, whose population is comparable to UP’s population. “Our recovery rate is rising. Our strategy to beat Covid is increasing oxygen and ventilator beds, pulse oximeters for the patients in home isolation, and door-to-door survey,” he said.
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12 Comments on this Story
Chaitanya Agarwal48 days ago
340 km long Puravanchal Expressway connecting Lucknow to Ghajipur will open a new window for more business between the Eastern part of the state with the rest of the part. Eastern UP is a highly undeveloped region of the state and requires to be developed a lot. This is a good achievement of the state Government for completing the work before the time limit.
Sivakrishna T48 days ago
connect Patna and Kolkata too with expressway. It is a shame South India doesn't have expressways.
Pankaj Sharma48 days ago
Just see, the difference, if corruption at politicall level is gone, if make wonders happen.