Delhi to Agra in two and half hours by Yamuna Expressway

yammunawebUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav inaugurated the 165-km Yamuna Expressway, more than five years after the 2003-2007 Samajwadi Party government of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav stalled the project.
He inaugurated it through videoconferencing from his residence in Lucknow, while his uncle and Samajwadi Party general secretary, Ram Gopal Yadav, flagged off the first vehicle from Greater Noida.
Though his party was opposed to the high-speed link between Greater Noida and Agra because it was initiated by Mayawati’s BSP government, Akhilesh said: “There is nothing wrong in inaugurating it. The plaque will have our names (he, his father and Ram Gopal Yadav).”
The Rs 1,2839 crore project is set to be the country’s longest access-controlled expressway, cutting travel time between Greater Noida and Agra from the existing five hours to two and a half hours.
Speed limits have been set at 100 kmph for cars and 60 kmph for motorcycles and heavy vehicles. Those found over-speeding will be stopped at one of the three toll plazas, officials said.
“I appeal to the people not to drive their vehicles at more than 100 kmph,” the Chief Minister said.
Safety is the focus area, according to Jaypee Infrastructure – who built the road and owns the right to operate it for 36 years.
Kamal Ahmed, vice-president of Jaypee Infrastructure, said: “The expressway has an integrated intelligent transportation system controlled by an underground fiber optic network. We have placed speed cameras at 31 places to catch over-speeding vehicles. This will be relayed to the toll plazas and the police posts.”
The expressway has 25 video-incident detection systems, which relay data to the centralized command centre at Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida. These alert officials during emergency situations such as accidents and breakdowns.
Moreover, there are 164 emergency telephone boxes and display boards, which give instructions to drivers when lanes are closed because of accidents. The entire road is lined with metal beam crash barriers.
The toll plazas have 32 lanes – 16 on each carriageway.
Senior Jaypee executives said some work is still pending. “Slip roads (56 km) were to be constructed. We have promised the state government that these will be completed in the next six months. We will also build hospitals, schools and vocational training institutes at places such as Jikarpur, Mirzapur, Agra and Mathura along the expressway,” Jaypee managing director Sameer Gaur said.
Gaur clarified that no concession on toll rates would be given to farmers of the region.
In Lucknow, the Chief Minister said service lanes must be completed at the earliest. He also reiterated that his government would withdraw court and police cases against farmers who had launched agitations against land acquisition for the project.
Akhilesh, however, made it clear that his government was not in favor of the Ganga Expressway project, which was also conceived by the Mayawati government, to link Ballia in eastern UP with Greater Noida in west.

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