In a major boost to infrastructure projects in Uttar Pradesh post the Covid-19 lockdown, public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) has extended a credit line of Rs 750 for the Gorakhpur Link Expressway, estimated to cost Rs 5,876 crore.
The 91-km expressway will connect Gorakhpur district, the pocket borough of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, with another expressway project, the 340-km Purvanchal Expressway.
The cheque for Rs 750 crore was handed over by the PNB officials to the chief minister at his official residence last evening. In his address, Adityanath spoke about the role played by the banks in improving the people’s living standards and enhancing access to resources.
According to UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) CEO Awanish Kumar Awasthi, who is also the state additional chief secretary, the government had arranged for Rs 2,250 loan for the Gorakhpur Link Expressway, including the Rs 750 crore credit line from the PNB.
Gorakhpur Link Expressway is the fifth greenfield expressway project in UP after Yamuna Expressway, Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway and Bundelkhand Expressway.
Another mega Ganga Expressway project has also been proposed, for which the bidding process is likely to be initiated after the state cabinet nod. The government is looking to provide jobs to the migrant workers in these infra projects.
The Gorakhpur Link Expressway was divided into two packages and awarded to Apco Infratech and Dilip Buildcon for development. Cutting across Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambedkar Nagar and Azamgarh districts, it is touted to benefit a population of nearly 50 million in the Gorakhpur and adjoining districts by providing fast connectivity for public and goods transport.
Meanwhile, the chief minister called upon the PNB to support other flagship expressway projects with similar credit lines and contribute towards the socio-economic development of the state.
While, the PNB has provided a loan of Rs 750 crore for Gorakhpur Link Expressway, earlier Rs 2,300 crore had been extended as credit for Purvanchal Expressway, which is touted to cost Rs 23,000 crore.
Purvanchal Expressway was divided into eight packages and awarded to different companies for ensuring time bound completion. It runs across nine districts viz. Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur.
It would provide seamless connectivity between the backward Eastern UP districts to the National Capital Region (NCR) via Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Agra-Greater Noida Yamuna Expressway. It will comprise an emergency airstrip for Indian Air Force (IAF) jets at Kurebhar (Sultanpur).
Last month, UPEIDA had estimated the civil work and land cost of the 628-km Ganga Expressway project at Rs 21,000 crore and Rs 9,000 crore, respectively, thus totalling Rs 30,000 crore.
Ganga Expressway will entail the acquisition of about 6,556 hectares of land and traverse Meerut, Amroha, Bulandshahar, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Kannauj, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratagarh and Prayagraj districts.