After inaugurating the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor in Varanasi last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Ganga Expressway in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur on Saturday, December 18. According to reports, the expressway is expected to be the longest in Uttar Pradesh to date.
Here is all you need to know about the Ganga Expressway project in10 points:
1. The 594 km long six-lane expressway is set to be built at a cost of over Rs 36,200 crore. Upon completion, it will become the longest expressway of Uttar Pradesh, connecting the western and eastern regions of the state, a statement by the PMO said.
2. The foundation stone was laid at around 1 PM on December 18 in Shahjahanpur.
3. The BJP has been on a project spree in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh with the PM inaugurating the first phase of the construction of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor and of the renovated Kashi Vishwanath temple complex on December 13.
4. According to a statement by PMO, the inspiration behind the expressway is the vision of the Prime Minister to provide fast-paced connectivity across the country. Before kicking off the projects in UP, the PM also laid the foundation stone for the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway project.
5. A 3.5 km long airstrip for assisting emergency take-off and landing of Indian Air Force aircraft will also be constructed on the Expressway in Shahjahanpur. This, however, is not the first expressway in recent times to have such an airstrip. The recently launched Purvanchal Expressway and the Lucknow-Agra Highway also have airstrips for emergency landing and take-off of IAF planes.
6. An industrial corridor is also proposed to be built along the Ganga expressway. The government expects the corridor to provide a big boost to the socio-economic development of the region.
7. The expressway is expected to give a boost to multiple sectors including industrial development to the economically struggling Vindhya and Rohilkhand regions.
8. The project also includes the planting of over 18 lah trees (18,55,000) along the expressway. Earlier in November, the project had got green clearance from the UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), the state-level environmental assessment authority.
9. Opposition parties like the Samajwadi Party have claimed that the Ganga Expressway project was un fact dream of by Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati.
10. In an interview with reporters ahead of Modi's visit to Shahjahanpur on Saturday, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said that the Ganga Expressway was Mayawati's "dream".
(With inputs from agencies)