Lucknow: Keeping with its promise of giving fresh impetus to infrastructure in the state, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh government has expedited work on the ambitious Agra- Lucknow Greenfield Expressway project and has selected a consultant for the project.
The consultant has been entrusted with the task of preparing a concept report on the project that will cut the travelling time between Lucknow and Agra from six hours to three-and-a-half hours.
Officials told a news agency that the eight-lane eco-friendly expressway is proposed to be constructed on a "minimum distance formula" through Public Private Partnership mode and is envisaged to provide a smooth link from Greater Noida to Lucknow via Agra. The consultant appointed for the expressway, covering a distance of 365 km, has been asked to prepare the "preliminary feasibility reports on economic, geographical, physical and social parameters" of the project.
The expressway will also help motorists cover a distance of about 530 km from Greater Noida to Lucknow in five hours instead of current time of nine hours.
Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner (IIDC) Anil Kumar Gupta said the government`s move highlights that it was "conscious of the importance of connectivity and transport infrastructure for inclusive development of the state".
Adding that infrastructure development was one of the key areas of priority for the state government, Gupta said the "government was keen to not only conceptualise development of infrastructure but to ensure its time-bound implementation also." The implementing and Nodal agency for this PPP expressway project is the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Authority (UPEIDA).
CEO, UPEIDA, Mukul Singhal informed that "adequate care" would be taken during the project to ensure that ecological balance was maintained and no harm was done to the environment. "A large number of trees would be planted for retaining the rain water in the field, suitable techniques of rain harvesting shall also be adopted to raise ground water level. Eco-friendly parks shall be developed along the expressway for neutralising air and noise pollution and maintaining ecological balance," Singhal added.
To maintain greenery and abundant water supply, lakes and ponds shall be developed on both sides of proposed expressway, the official added.