New 274-km Agra-Lucknow expressway proposed

Within a week of the 165-km Noida-Agra Yamuna expressway becoming operational, another expressway, from Agra to Lucknow, has been proposed by the Samajwadi Party Government here. A presentation of the proposed 274-km Agra-Lucknow Greenfield Expressway was made before Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday.

Public Works Department Minister, Shivpal Singh Yadav was also present.

To be built at an estimated cost of Rs.9,500 crore, the proposed six-lane expressway, extendable to eight lanes, will cut the journey time from Agra to Lucknow to three hours. Agra is about 365 km from the State capital and it takes about five hours to reach the City of Taj by road. Since the proposed expressway will be 274 km long, the journey time will be brought down to three hours, an official spokesman said.

Considering that acquisition of farmers’ land for building road projects and the quantum of compensation has spawned many an agitation in recent years, it has been proposed that irrigated and farm land for the expressway would be acquired to the least possible extent. Efforts would be made to ensure that the land alongside the canal system, which belongs to the Irrigation Department and other government land is not disturbed, the spokesman added.

To offset the threat from the annual floods -- the proposed expressway will run through the flood plains of the Yamuna, the Ganga and smaller rivers -- the road will be elevated and a 10 metre-wide-green belt will be developed alongside the expressway. Water bodies and eco-friendly parks will be the other additions.

According to the presentation, since the Agra-Lucknow expressway will run very close to Firozabad, Shikohabad, Etawah, Mainpuri, Kannauj and Malihabad these towns can be developed into growth centres.

After the presentation, Mr. Yadav directed the officials that enough under ways and cattle ways are built to ensure unhindered flow of traffic. He said that service lanes should also be built alongside the expressway.

Mr. Yadav said the Noida-Agra Yamuna expressway should be extended up to Lucknow to ensure better facilities for farmers by way of getting better markets for their produce.

However, whether the Yamuna Expressway would be connected to the proposed Agra-Lucknow Greenfield expressway, or to the existing Lucknow-Agra national highway via Kanpur was not spelt out by Mr. Yadav.

Later talking to reporters, the Chief Minister said the unemployment allowance for the jobless will be disbursed from the first week of September.

He said the norms for availing of the benefit have been simplified. Now the beneficiaries will not be required to work for getting the dole. He said the jobless who have passed Class X will be entitled to the benefit.

Asked about the law and order situation in the State and frequent outbreak of communal violence, Mr. Yadav said strict action has been taken against the mischief makers. He said the Samajwadi Party stands against corruption.

To cut the journey time from Agra to Lucknow to three hours

It will run close to Firozabad, Shikohabad, Etawah, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Malihabad

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