New Delhi: In a first of its kind event, eight fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will touch down on the newly-built Agra-Lucknow Expressway on Monday.
While an IAF jet had last year landed on the Yamuna Expressway near Delhi, today's event is more special given the number of top-of-the-line fighter jets attempting simulated landings.
The IAF show is part of the inauguration event of the expressway at Unnao, around 50 kms from Lucknow. The expressway will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Four Sukhoi jets will fly down from Bareilly and four Mirage 2000s from Gwalior and skim the six-lane highway in simulated landings, a first for any road inauguration event.
On Friday, a fighter jet practiced on a 3.3 km stretch of the highway marked for landings as part of a Defence Ministry plan for emergencies when military air fields are not available.
A bureaucrat who witnessed the jet landing was injured in a car crash on the brand new highway. The Chief Minister, who had recently taken a ride with his family on the expressway, had warned against speeding on it earlier that day, saying: "I request you to drive on the expressway with caution and not exceed a speed limit of 100 km an hour."
The 302 km Greenfield expressway was completed in a record 23 months. It will offer a direct link to the Taj Mahal town of Agra from the Yamuna Expressway.
Officials say it will have an automatic traffic management system to deal with fog and reduce road accidents. It also features an eight-lane bridge across the river Ganga, which will connect Unnao and Kanpur.
Today's opening is also likely to feature race cars from Delhi. The state government has hired an eight-camera set-up to shoot the event.