The 341-kilometer-long Purvanchal Expressway will connect Lucknow with the eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday landed on the Purvanchal Express in a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and inaugurated the 341-kilometre-long eastern expressway, demonstrating the capability of the corridor to lunch and land fighter jets. The new expressway will not only open a new gateway to Eastern UP but also provide a massive boost to the Indian Air Force’s capabilities.
The Prime Minister’s decision to land on the Expressway in an aircraft was a demonstration and a show of intent of the government in pushing for the development of roadways and enhancing the connectivity of the region. The expressway will connect the state capital Lucknow with the eastern districts including Mau, Azamgarh, Barabanki with the major cities of Prayagraj and Varanasi.
“When I laid the foundation stone for this project three years ago, I had not thought that one day I would land on it in an aircraft,” PM Modi said, adding that the Expressway will take the state towards a better future and is “an expressway for the development of a new UP.”
SENDING OFF A SIGNAL
The inauguration of the Purvanchal Expressway comes on the heels of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections next year. The foundation for the Expressway was laid out by PM Modi in 2018 and has been developed at a cost of Rs 22,500 crore in just over three years. The new road is being pitched as a major driver of economic development in the region as the Yogi Adityanath government enters campaign mode for the upcoming election.
The 341-km Purvanchal Expressway begins from Chandsarai village on the Lucknow-Sultanpur highway. It will pass through Barabanki, Amethi, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau and terminate at Haldaria village in Ghazipur district.
The Expressway is the third to connect the whole of UP with Delhi and Bihar. The first stretch between Noida and Agra was developed and constructed by the Mayawati government. The SP government under Akhilesh Yadav constructed the 300-kilometre-long Taj Expressway that connects Agra to Lucknow in the past.
The Prime Minister said that the defence corridor being developed in the state will create new jobs for the youth.
TO ACT AS A FORCE MULTIPLIER
The Expressway has a 3.2-kilometre-long airstrip which has been developed with the sole purpose of launching and landing aircraft during emergency situations. The strip can hold not just fighter aircraft but heavily loaded transport aircraft as well. PM Modi demonstrated this by landing at the airstrip in Air Force’s C-130J Super Hercules, which is capable of carrying 20 tonnes of equipment.
The strip will boost Indian Air Force capabilities not just during wartime but also in unavoidable situations like the emergency landing of planes due to accidents. The development of the strip is a low-cost solution for the military to boost its prowess in the region instead of developing a full-time base.
PM Modi attacking Congress and the opposition, said, “We will see how Purvanchal Expressway will act as a powerful tool for the IAF. The roar of these fighters will be for those who have ignored defence infrastructure in the country for decades.”
During the inauguration, a 45-minute air show will be conducted by the IAF with multiple landings and takeoffs from the airstrip fighter jets in front of PM Modi and CM Yogi Adityanath. Under the ‘touch and go’ operation, the fighter plane will touch the expressway and then take off. Planes like Sukhoi, Mirage, Rafale, AN 32 are part of the air show.