Purvanchal Expressway: Country’s longest expressway to be completed by year-end

Despite the delay of two months caused due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, efforts are underway to complete the Purvanchal expressway by the end of the year- months ahead of the April 2021 deadline.

The INR 22500 crore project is a 341-km six-lane (expandable to eight lanes) access-controlled expressway that stretches from Chand Sarai in Lucknow district to Haidaria in Ghazipur district.

It is being built on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis and will not only provide the nine predominantly agricultural districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh seamless connectivity to state capital Lucknow, but also link them to National Capital Delhi via the 302-km Agra-Lucknow Expressway and the 165-km Agra-Greater Noida Yamuna Expressway.

“As against 10,000 workers before the lockdown, we currently have 5,500 workers at the site. But we have told the companies working on the 8 packages to operate at full throttle and expedite the work. We are also trying to get more labourers back. We hope that in about a week’s time, we will have the full workforce with us.”

~Avanish Awasthi, Chief Executive Officer, Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA)

“More than 80% of the earthwork has been done and around 48% of the physical work on the project has been completed. The remaining 52% of work will be completed within the targetted timeline by increasing the size of the workforce,” says Durgesh Upadhyay, media advisor in UPEIDA.

District magistrates of the nine districts through which the project passes have been asked to get labourers medically examined before they start working. “We are ensuring that all precautions are taken and social distancing norms maintained,” says Awasthi.

The expressway will pass Barabanki, Amethi, Ayodhya, Sultanpur, Ambedkarnagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur –places that have been among the most backward districts of the state.

“It will not only cause an upturn in the fortunes of the region but also bring about a sea of change in the lives of the people. It will boost agriculture as well as industrial and commercial activities, apart from enhancing the prospects for tourism in the state,” says Awasthi, adding that the expressway will act as an industrial corridor for the different manufacturing units, development nodes and agricultural centres of the region.

Further, it will attract investment in the handloom, food processing, warehousing as well as dairy sectors, boosting the region and Uttar Pradesh’s growth.

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