Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the Purvanchal highway, which is being built at a cost of Rs 23,000 crore, saying it will transform the places it passes through.
The construction of the Expressway is expected to open doors for industrialisation of the economically backward eastern UP region as the Yogi Adityanath-led state government proposed to set up a number of industrial parks along the stretch.
Here's everything you need to know about this project:
— The period of construction of the Purvanchal Expressway is three years, and it will be constructed by 2021.
— The planned 340-km expressway will connect the state capital Lucknow with Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 23,000 crore.
— Originally a six-lane expressway, but expandable to 8-lane later, the Purvanchal Expressway is to link Lucknow with Ghazipur and scheduled to be completed within 36 months, though the state government is keen to have it completed within 24 to 26 months.
— The expressway will begin from Chand Sarai village on Lucknow-Sultanpur road (NH 731) and end at Haidariya village in Ghazipur district, about 18 km from the UP-Bihar order.
— The 340 km-expressway is set to reduce the travel time between Lucknow to Ghazipur to 4.30 to 5 hours.
— The total access controlled expressway with provisions of service roads and underpasses for vehicles, pedestrians and animals would be passing through eight districts of the state and would be linked to Varanasi through a separate link road.
— The opposition Samajwadi Party claims were that the Purvanchal Expressway project was the brainchild of former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav.
— The Uttar Pradesh government has proposed to set up 10 industrial parks along the 340-km stretch and the process to identify the land for the industrial park would start soon.
— The expressway connecting Lucknow with Ghazipur passes through eight districts including Amethi, Faizabad and Azamgarh. An airstrip is also planned on the expressway near Sultanpur.
— The state government had recently announced a number of incentives including 100% stamp duty waiver for the setting up of private industrial parks in state.
Hours before the inauguration of the project, Samajwadi Party chief dismissed it as a relaunch of a project which he had inaugurated as the previous chief minister of the state.
After becoming prime minister, this was Modi's first public appearance in Azamgarh, which has proved a challenge to the BJP. The party swept the 2014 Lok Sabha election in UP but lost the Azamgarh seat to former Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.