Uttar Pradesh expressways: Three successive regimes in UP have focused extensively on building expressways, but these have also faced delays, political one-upmanship and public protests. As a result, policy and planning have evolved.
In Uttar Pradesh expressways projects are so closely intertwined with politics that they have remained the headline achievement for three successive regimes.
UP’s expressway network today is 800 km long, the latest addition being the 341-km Purvanchal Expressway inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. Crisscrossing the state from Greater Noida in the west to Ghazipur near the Bihar border in the east, the network has been built at a cost of Rs 50,000 crore over the last 15 years.
Another 900 km is in the pipeline — longer if we count proposed extensions.
An expressway is a highway project that is “access controlled” for high-speed traffic. Entry and exit points are designated, and a combination of underpasses, bridges, interchanges gives high speed but hurdle-free movement.
The first expressway, the Taj Expressway project (later renamed Yamuna Expressway), went through a series of regimes before it saw the light of day. Conceived in 2001 during the BJP regime under Rajnath Singh, it was planned and executed during 2007-12 BSP regime under Mayawati — who gave it the new name