The construction of 100 kilometre of the 296-km-long Bundelkhand Expressway has been completed in a record time of one year, Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), the agency responsible for the planning and construction of e-ways in the state, has said.
The foundation of the expressway was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 29 February last year in the Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh.
According to the UPEIDA, construction of 18 km has been competed in Package 1 of the Bundelkhand Expressway, 13 km in Package 2, 10 km in Package 3, 24 km in Package 4, 22 km in Package 5 and 13 km in Package 6.
Apco Infra is working on Packages 1 and 2, Ashoka Buildcon on Package 3, Gawar Constructions on Packages 4 and 5 and Dilip Buildcon on Package 6.
Nearly 45 per cent of the construction work, including 96 per cent clearing and grubbing work and 79 per cent earth work, has been completed.
The Bundelkhand Expressway project also holds the record for the fastest acquisition of land for a highway project in Uttar Pradesh.
Originating near Bharatkoop in the Chitrakoot district, the e-way passes through the districts of Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Auraiya and Etawah.
It joins the Lucknow-Agra Expressway near Kudrail village in the Etawah district, linking the drought-prone Bundelkhand in southern UP and northern Madhya Pradesh to the National Capital Region through the Lucknow-Agra and Yamuna (Agra-Noida) expressways.
“We expect to start traffic on the main carriageway by the end of next year, or January 2022,” Awanish Awasthi, the Chief Executive Officer of UPEIDA and Additional Chief Secretary to UP government, told Swarajya recently.
The expressway is critical to the success of the Defence Corridor coming up in Uttar Pradesh. Two nodes of the Defence Corridor, Jhansi, and Chitrakoot, are in Bundelkhand. Connectivity between these and the other nodes of the corridor — Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur and Aligarh — will improve with its construction.
The Yogi Adityanath government has allocated Rs 1,492 crore for the 296-km long Bundelkhand Expressway in the 2021 budget.
The Bundelkhand region is electorally important for the BJP — in 2017, the party had won all 19 Vidhan Sabha seats in the seven districts that form the state’s part of Bundelkhand. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the party had won all the four seats in the region, repeating its performance of the 2014 polls.
Uttar Pradesh is working on four e-ways, including the Purvanchal Expressway, which the government plans to open for traffic in April this year.