Chief Minister along with the Union Transport minister reviews the progress of national highways in the state
The Centre should provide adequate funds for development of roads in the state
Union government continuously slashing the funding for maintenance of the national highways
People not getting benefits and the cost is shooting up due to delays in road projects
State government working to link district headquarters with wide roads
Chief Minister stresses the need of four laning of the Rae Bareli-Allahabad National Highway
Chief Minister requests for work to be expedited and completed on the remaining construction work on the Lucknow-Kanpur National Highway and converting it into eight lanes Union Transport Minister praises the land acquisition work in the Agra-Lucknow Expressway
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Akhilesh Yadav has said that construction of good roads was a must for development and progress of the state and the nation. Expecting the union government of taking note of the poor condition of the national highways in the state, Mr. Yadav further said that delayed road projects not only increased their costs in a big way but also deny the people of benefits. He also said that the Bhind-Etawah-Shahjahanpur-Pilibhit-Lipulekh (300km) road connecting the state to Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, road linking Nepal, UP and Madhya Pradesh-Gorakhpur-Azamgarh-JaunpurAllahabad-Chitrakoot (250km) and the road coming out from NH-28 in Gorakhpur and linking Nepal, UP and Bihar and going to Deoria and then entering Majhi Ghat on Bihar border be made a National Highway soon and work on it initiated.
Giving the suggestion that the important Jhansi-Khajuraho road connecting UP to MP be four laned to increase tourist foot fall and expressed his dissatisfaction at the tardy progress on the Lucknow-Allahabad national highway and requested the Union Minister to instruct NHAI officers to expedite work. He also requested for expanding the road from Babatpur airport in Varanasi to the city to four lanes.
The Chief Minister was reviewing the progress of national highways in the state at the Shahstri Bhawan along with the Union Minister for shipping, transport and highways Mr Nitin Gadkari. At this meeting, the Chief Minister apprised the Union Minister of the pending works on the Lucknow-Kanpur highway in the last 10 years and requested that the work on the Unnao ROB cum Flyover and elevated road from Jajmau Ganga bridge to Rama Devi chauraha be expedited at the earliest.
He further pointed out that owing to the traffic density on the LucknowKanpur highway, four lanes should be expanded to eight lanes. The Union Minister, in this regard, told the Chief Minister that ongoing work on this road would be completed by June this year. He also assured that necessary surveys to expand it to eight lanes would also be conducted.
The Chief Minister, while referring to maintenance of national highways in the state said that the fund size for maintenance of these NH’s was being reduced in a sustained manner and said that in the current financial year under the non-plan outlay, for level improvement/renewal only Rs. 84.52 crores has been sanctioned against Rs. 267 crore. Similarly, under the plan, only Rs. 602 crore had been sanctioned against an amount of Rs. 1183 crore for the state.
Highlighting the problems faced by the people of the state in wake of the poor condition of the national highways falling in the state limits, the Chief Minister rued the drying up of funds by the centre. This was sadly being reduced year after year, Mr Yadav said. Citing an example, the Chief Minister has said that in the financial year 2012-13, against Rs. 40 crore only Rs.24.48 crore were provided, while during year 2013-14 against Rs. 50 crore only Rs. 15.69 crore were provided and in the current financial year only Rs. 13.68 crore had been provided against Rs. 90 crore, which is not enough.
Mr. Gadkari said that for all such 3,375 km roads, alternate arrangements would be made for their maintenance. He also accepted that availability of national highways was very poor against per lakh population in Uttar Pradesh and assured that all efforts would be undertaken to bring it at par with the national average.
The Chief Minister also mentioned other damaged roads under the NHAI like Varanasi-Gorakhpur, Aligarh-Kanpur, Lucknow-Sultanpur section and Rampur-Rudrapur road and said work on them had yet not started. Requesting an early start on these roads, the Chief Minister said despite all coordination and cooperation by the state government, delays were hurting the people of the state.
Mr. Yadav also referred to Banda-Tanda road, Rae Bareli-PratapgarhJaunpur road and said that despite work being initiated on these national highways, the condition of the remaining parts was in shambles. This, he added, was causing a lot of inconvenience to the people. The Union Minister immediately issued instructions to NHAI officers to complete work on these roads.
Mr. Yadav also referred to the linking of district headquarters with 04/02 lanes with paved shoulders, and said that the work so far by NHAI was not satisfactory. Of the 19 district HQ, the CM informed further, NHAI had not started work on nine while 2 district HQ are pending at the central level. It may be pointed out here that 04 laning of Gautambudhnagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Rae Bareily, linking of district headquarters at Hamirpur, Hathras, Banda, Amethi, Pilibhit and Pratapgarh with two lane with paved shoulder is under progress, while NHAI has not started work on Mirzapur, Etah, Kannauj, Azamgarh, Ambedkarnagar, Jaunpur, Sultanpur, Ghazipur and Mau. Mr Gadkari informed that a decision would be taken soon on developing the Delhi-UP border to Dasna (district Ghaziabad) national highway into 8-lane road and also the construction of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway. Praising the quick land acquisition by the state government for the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, the Union Minister said the Centre was proposing to implement this policy across the country. He also assured to take prompt decisions on the Lucknow, Kanpur, Aligarh, Meerut and Varanasi outer ring roads proposed by the NHAI, as per the policies of the state government.
The Chief Minister also requested that the Gowardhan bypass in Mathura district and the Muzaffarnagar bypass be developed into four lanes. He also expressed his displeasure at the callousness of the NHAI officers with regards to the Aligarh-Kanpur highway following which Mr. Gadkari directed the NHAI officers to begin work at the earliest on the four lane cement road.
Progress made so far in construction work of the Kondli-Ghaziabad-Palwal road under the Eastern Peripheral Expressway was also reviewed at the meeting during which the Chief Minister said that the state government has given its entire share of Rs 897.39 crores and requested early work on this project. In the same way, it was requested that work at Palwal-Tappal-Aligarh, PilibhitBareilly-Mathura-Bharatpur, Tihri-Moradabad, Gadh Meerut-Baghpat-Sonipat roads for better inter-state connectivity, be completed soon.
The Chief Minister further said that without development of the states, the nation cannot progress and demanded that since UP was the biggest state as per population, it should be provided with adequate funds for road development. He also requested the 04-lane grid for the state and requested for an early decision by the union government on this matter. Mr. Yadav also assured that problems coming in the way of NHAI will be sorted out by the state government and directed officers to immediately address problems with regard to land acquisition, mining and felling of trees.
The meeting was also attended by PWD Minister Mr. Shivpal Singh Yadav, MoS Mr. Surendra Singh Patel, Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission Mr NC Bajpai, Chief Secretary Mr. Alok Ranjan, APC Mr. VN Garg, Principal Secretaries to the Chief Minister; Mr. Rakesh Garg, Mrs. Anita Singh, Principal Secretary (Finance) Mr. Rahul Bhatnagar, Principal Secretary (Transport) Mr. Arvind Singh Deo, Principal Secretary (Information) Mr. Navneet Sehgal, senior officers of the NHAI and the state government. After the meeting, the Chief Minister and the Union Minister held a joint press conference at the Annexe media centre.