UP govt on course in construction of Bundelkhand Expressway, aims completion before 2022 elections despite Covid

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LUCKNOW: Despite Covid-19, UP government claims to be on course in the construction of the crucial Bundelkhand Expressway, being ahead of its six-month schedule since it’s foundation stone was laid by prime minister Narendra Modi on February 29. It aims to complete the expressway by end of 2021, ahead of the 2022 assembly elections.

Awanish Awasthi, CEO of the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authroity (UPEIDA), the authority that oversees construction of the state’s key infrastructural projects said the government will complete its first milestone- 10% construction of all six packages in the expressway- by August 15, despite obstacles thrown up by the pandemic and the lockdown. Awasthi is also the additional chief secretary (home department) in the state.

He said even with about 75% of availability of the required labour, the expressway has completed 45% of its earth work in six months. He also highlighted a cost saving of about Rs 2,000 crore in the estimate due to lower cost of bidding and a less than 8% interest rate charged by banks for loans. The total cost is estimated to be about Rs 14,850 crore.

The 296 km long expressway is one of the projects, along with projects like the Purvanchal Expressway and the Jewar International Airport, that the UP government has accorded high priority ahead of the 2022 assembly elections. It is also expected to be a major poll booster for the BJP-led Yogi Adityanath government as it aims to link the backward Bundelkhand districts of Chitrakut, Hamirpur, Banda and Jalaun with New Delhi, thus promising an overall increase in economic activities and improvement in social welfare and infrastructure in the region.

At the same time, the 341 km Purvanchal Expressway, which had to be opened to public by Diwali this year, according to the government’s claim, is now being aimed for completion by January next year with about 52% of its construction complete, Awasthi said.





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