Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav yesterday inaugurated the Yamuna Expressway – but via videoconference from Lucknow. With six lanes, the 165-km freeway links Greater Noida to Agra; it will reduce the travel time by 3-4 hours. The project was begun by former chief minister Mayawati, who was voted out in May this year. “The board outside will have our name… now how do we help that?” said Mr Yadav, a cheeky statement acknowledging that his government will get the credit for a major new project that it had very little to do with.
The Expressway, which has three toll plazas, opened at 4 pm.
But it has already run into controversy as farmers and workers of Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) blocked the Expressway at Bajna near Mathura. They are demanding that service lanes should be made along the Bajna village and a highway exit should also be given at the point into the village, to provide access to villages on the Expressway. The RLD even plans to sit on the dharna on the Expressway.
The land acquisition for the Expressway had turned violent last year when a farmer agitation broke out in Bhatta-Parsaul villages. Speaking on the issue today, Mr Yadav said, “The Samajwadi Party has mentioned in its manifesto that no land will be acquired without the consent of the farmers.”
The state government has given approval to the toll rates at Rs. 2.10 per km for cars and light motor vehicles (LMVs) with three toll plazas at 38 km, 95 km and 150 km points. Two more toll plazas would be constructed later, they said. But as an inaugural move, the state government has waived toll charges till August 15.
The total cost of the project is Rs. 12,000 crore. The total length of the Expressway is 165.537 km from Greater Noida zero point till National Highway 2 at Agra. There are six interchanges, 70 underpasses, 75 cart track underpasses, 41 minor bridges and 182 culverts.
At five places the Expressway promoter Jaypee group will develop integrated townships on 500 hectare land each at Noida, Jaganpur, Mirzapur, Tappal (Aligarh) and Kuber(Agra), official sources said.
Now, you can drive from Delhi to the Taj Mahal in a little over two hours.
- The expressway links Greater Noida to Agra. It was inaugurated via video conference from Lucknow by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
- The six-lane expressway covers 165 kms. It reduces the travel time between the capital and Agra by nearly four hours. (Watch: Your guide to the new Yamuna Expressway)
- The project cost 12,000 crores. It has three toll plazas and opened to the public at 4 pm.
- Till August 15, no toll will be collected – happy Independence Day, commuters! After that, cars will pay Rs. 320 for a one-way trip, two-wheelers will be charged Rs. 150.
- The speed limit is 100 kilometres per hour.
- The project was begun by former Chief Minister Mayawati, who was voted out in May this year. “The board outside will have our name… now how do we help that?” said Mr Yadav, a acknowledging that his government will get the credit for a major new project that it had very little to do with.
- He’ll have to take the criticism too. Farmers near Mathura protested today, demanding that their villages be given easier and toll-free access to the highway.
- The RLD, which is the party headed by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, says it supports the farmers’ demands, and will mobilise more protests. RLD MP Jayant Chaudhary said that service lanes meant for the movement of local farmers had not been built
- The process of acquiring land from farmers for the expressway spiralled into violence last year in the Bhatta-Parsaul villages of Greater Noida.
- Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited the epicentre of the tension, defying police orders, to talk to farmers. He also began a padayatra or march which culminated in a massive gathering of farmers and the heads of different panchayats in Aligarh.
Latest posts by admin (see all)
- Krishna Theme Park in Braj :: Fossilizing a Living Tradition? - October 19, 2015
- Did Hema’s Mahotsav recast Krishna lila in promiscuity? - October 7, 2015
- Petition to UP CM opposing Vrindavan-Mathura merger - October 19, 2014