The Purvanchal Expressway, scripting silent transformation of the economy of Uttar Pradesh, is proposed to be extended to Bihar from Ghazipur. UP is building four expressways, the 340-km Purvanchal Expressway, 296-km Bundelkhand Expressway, 91-km Gorakhpur Link Expressway and 594-km Ganga Expressway, to boost socio-economic development.
The Purvanchal Expressway starting from Chand Saray village located in Lucknow will pass through Barabanki, Amethi, Sultanpur, Ayodhya, Ambedkarnagar and Mau, before terminating at Hyderia village in Ghazipur. A link expressway for linking it with Ballia is also under construction. Of the four highway projects, the six-lane access-controlled Purvanchal Expressway, connecting eastern UP with Lucknow and Delhi, will be the first to become operational by May-end this year.
While the Yamuna Expressway, which came up in 2012, and the Agra-Lucknow Expressway that opened for traffic in 2017, started the trend, it is the four upcoming ones – the Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand Expressway, Gorakhpur Link Expressway and the 594-km Ganga Expressway – that are scripting a silent transformation in the state, once notorious for its potholed road network.
Once these are complete, UP would have a total network of 1,788 km of expressways, the highest in the country. Currently, the total expressway network in India is around 1,822 km. No wonder, the state has earned the sobriquet of ‘Expressway Pradesh’.
The four-lane Bundelkhand Expressway, linking it with Agra- Lucknow Expressway and ultimately to Delhi, is likely to be completed by March next year. It will connect the backward districts of the Bundelkhand region — Chitrakoot, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah.
The grid will be completed with two more expressways, the Gorakhpur Link Expressway and Ganga Expressway.
The four-lane, Rs 5,876-crore Gorakhpur Link Expressway will connect Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Ambedkarnagar and Sant Kabir Nagar, and the scheduled date for completion the project is April 2022. So far 14 per cent work has been completed. The six-lane Ganga Expressway will connect Meerut with Prayagraj. The technical bids for the project have been floated and will be opened in May.
Except for the Ganga Expressway, the other three are EPC (engineering procurement construction) projects, where the state government funds the entire project cost. The UPEIDA has already raised Rs 22,450 crore from a consortium of public sector banks for the Purvanchal, Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur Link expressways.
After the projects become operational, the UPEIDA will give toll collection rights to a private company every year. The company has to share a portion of the revenue generated from toll with the agency. For instance, the private toll collection agency for the Agra-Lucknow Expressway shared Rs 402 crore with the UPEIDA from the revenue it earned from toll last fiscal.
“This has given confidence to investors. UPEIDA’s portfolio of projects is very robust, which gives banks the confidence to lend,” said a UPEIDA official.