Meerut-Prayagraj 'Ganga Expressway' assumes priority in UP; project put on fast track

State Government green flags the proposal to monetise Lucknow-Agra Expressway to fund the new project

The state government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to fast track the Ganga Expressway project, which will connect Meerut to Prayagraj. Proposed to be the longest expressway in the country, this 594km long stretch will extend from Meerut, going through Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao and Rae Bareli before ending at Prayagraj. Besides these prominent districts, the expressway will map through a total of 529 villages between the source and termination points. Sanctioned at a total cost of ₹36,400 crores, the expressway construction has been slated to begin in June, next year.

Ganga Expressway on fast track in Uttar Pradesh

The Ganga Expressway has already received the state cabinet clearance which has paved the way for the execution of the project at the ground level. According to the chief executive officer of Uttar Pradesh Expressway and Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), land acquisition is proposed to be completed in the next six months. The Development authorities and officials in UP have been asked to ramp -up the land acquisition process.

Fixing the annual budget for it and procurement of loan from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) will also be initiated. The entire project has been sanctioned at a total budget of ₹36,400 crores, out of which an estimate of ₹9,255 crores will be invested on land acquisition.

According to the order issued by the industry department of the state, an estimate cost of over ₹22,100 crores has been allocated for the actual construction. Likewise, over Rs 5,000 crore would be spent on shifting of utilities, emergency spending, labour cess and maintenance for a period of five years.

Monetising the Agra-Lucknow Expressway to fund Ganga Expressway

The state government has also green flagged the proposal to monetise the Agra-Lucknow expressway for funding the Ganga Expressway project. Accordingly, a high-powered committee is proposed to be set up to take procedural and operational decisions to monetise the asset to generate revenue. Under this, the authority would be following the toll, operate and transfer (TOT) mechanism. The authority would also be appointing a technical consultant and float a request for proposal (RFP).

It has been further decided that funds from the state treasury would be withdrawn after the money raised from monetisation of Lucknow-Agra Expressway is deposited. The SBI Capital Market Limited has been nominated as the financial advisor for the Ganga Expressway. The draft proposal for inviting investors on public-private partnership (PPP) model will be readied soon.

-With inputs from IANS

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