For the first time in any road launch, on 21st of November the Indian Air Force (IAF) landed 6 fighter jets on the inaugural of the country’s longest expressway, between Agra and Lucknow in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The Agra – Lucknow Expressway is a widely stretched 302 Km long expressway which was constructed in a record time of 22 months. On the eve of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s birth anniversary, he did the honor to inaugurate the expressway. He also expressed that he was deeply hurt by the incident of derailment of Indore-Patna express near Pukhraya in the state of Uttar Pradesh on 20th November which killed around 140 and left several injured. Every year Singh’s birthday is celebrated like a tradition which is also considered as one of the biggest gala parties that involves participation of several famous personalities. But in condolence to the deceased, the supremo will NOT be celebrating his birthday this year in Saifai Mahautsav!
During the grand opening of the 302 Km six lane expressway, three Sukhoi-30 and three Mirage 2000s jets performed simulated landings, for the first time in any road launch in the country. Also for the first time ever, the IAF fighter jets took part in the inauguration of any expressway, as this was performed to check the feasibility of the expressway during emergencies or war like situation where this expressways can be used as an alternate airstrips to land aircraft.
Ahead of the 2017 State elections in Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav first started the Vikas Yatra and now the inaugural of Agra-Lucknow expressway shows his desperation to continue as the state chief minister in the coming years too.
Agra- Lucknow expressway was the dream project of Akhilesh Yadav who inaugurated it in the presence of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, Shivpal Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav, former UK governor Aziz Qureishi and Azam Khan. After all the drama that happened in the Yadav clan, they finally are now seen sharing the same stage ahead of the election.
India’s longest expressway is without a doubt one of the most major infrastructure projects in the country.
The expressway will reduce the travel distance between the cities of Agra and Lucknow and will now take just 3 hours. The inter connectivity between the cities will cut down to half the time as it used to take before the inauguration of the expressway. The estimated cost of construction of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway was Rs 15,000 crore, but the UP government claims that it was completed in Rs 13,200 crore.
This 6 lane expressway will be upgraded to a 8 way lane in future. However, opposition party BSP chief and the former Prime Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati accused the ruling party saying; the party is trying to rush the launch of the highway when even road signs haven’t all been put up.
“When I was UP Chief Minister, there were some flaws in the Noida Expressway…They said inaugurate it before polls but I refused to play with people’s lives by inaugurating an incomplete expressway“.
The expressway will also reduce the travel time between Delhi and Lucknow that usually took 10-12 hours will now be reduced to 6 hours.
Talking to the media, Mulayam Singh said, he congratulated the officials for completing the work so swiftly in a span of 22 months. He also said Akhilesh took personal interest in this project and achieved this milestone which none other states have achieved in the history before.
Mulayam Singh said, “At the time of laying of foundation stone of the Expressway, I had asked as to when it will be completed and when four years were asked for its completion I had refused to lay the foundation stone. Later, however, it was done giving 22 months for completing it. The result is before everyone to see that today the road is ready in two years“.
“Earlier, it used to take 12 to 14 hours to reach Delhi and now the distance will be covered in far less time. It will be very beneficial for the people,” added Mulayam Singh, the former Defence Minister of India.
Agra Lucknow expressway has been accommodated to design at a speed limit of 120 Km/hr. It will also have automatic traffic management system helping even at the time of fog.
To shoot this mega event of inauguration of the longest expressway in the country, the state government of Uttar Pradesh hired an eight camera set up to shoot the event.