The Bundelkhand Expressway: Route, Cost Involved and Current Status

It would connect the Bundelkhand area to Delhi via the Yamuna Expressway and the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, running through the Uttar Pradesh districts of Hamirpur, Chitrakoot, Banda, and Jalaun

On July 16, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 296-kilometre-long Bundelkhand Expressway in Katheri, a town in the Jalaun district. The Bundelkhand Expressway is a 4-lane, controlled-access expressway that connects the state’s underdeveloped districts to the country’s capital.¬†

It would connect the Bundelkhand area to Delhi via the Yamuna Expressway and the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, running through the Uttar Pradesh districts of Hamirpur, Chitrakoot, Banda, and Jalaun. On February 29, 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the highway project. The Bundelkhand highway was scheduled to be finished on January 14, 2023. But, interestingly, the project was finished in 27 months, five months ahead of schedule.

The Route of the Bundelkhand expressway

  • The Bundelkhand express route is linked to Delhi and the National Capital Region via the Agra-Lucknow expressway and the Yamuna expressway.
  • According to the Bundelkhand expressway route plan, The Bundelkhand Expressway begins near Bharatkoop, in the Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • ¬†Chitrakoot, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Banda, Jalaun, Auraiya, and Etawah are among the districts connected by the Bundelkhand expressway.
  • Furthermore, large rivers like the Betwa, Yamuna, Bagen, Ken, Chandrawal, Birma, and Sengar run along the Bundelkhand highway corridor.

Interesting facts about the Bundelkhand expressway

  • The highway was built at roughly Rs 14,850 crore cost and was finished in 28 months.
  • The Bundelkhand Expressway would not only improve connectivity in the region but also spur economic growth, resulting in the generation of thousands of jobs for the locals.
  • PMO reported that development has started in industrial areas in Banda and Jalaun districts close to the expressway.

Details of the Bundelkhand expressway project

  • The Bundelkhand Expressway begins near Bharatkoop, in the Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh. The highway connects with the Agra-Lucknow expressway near Kudrail village in Etawah.
  • Four railway overbridges, 14 big crossings, seven ramp plazas, six toll plazas, 266 minor bridges, and 18 flyovers are part of the expressway project.

The technology employed in highway construction

  • Special technologies were utilised in the bridge’s construction. According to the UPEIDA head engineer, the ribs were formed over thermoplastic linings on the roadside.¬†
  • This will notify the driver that his car has slipped off the road. This safety precaution is different from those employed in Agra and Poorvanchal.

Job Opportunities

  • PM Modi claimed during the project’s inauguration that the highway would improve connectivity between the region and services in larger cities, allowing thousands of locals to relocate more easily in search of better work prospects.
  • Moreover, he also added that “Bundelkhand is on track to become a major hub for the ‘Make in India’ initiative, with items made in the state being exported. Smaller sectors are projected to prosper in due course”.

Current status of the Bundelkhand Expressway

  • The Bundelkhand expressway is nearly finished.
  • UPEIDA saved approximately Rs. 1,800 crores on three expressway projects, including the Purvanchal Expressway, the Bundelkhand Expressway, and the Gorakhpur Link Expressway.
  • E-tendering was used to award construction projects for the three projects.
  • According to UPEIDA head engineer Manoj Kumar Gupta, the minimum tender for the Purvanchal Expressway was reduced by 5.19% from the expected cost, leading to a profit of around Rs 614 crores.

Recent controversies

  • Within five days of the expressway’s launch, portions of the road caved in several spots during the heavy rain on July 20, 2022, causing some vehicles to collide.
  • Several videos went trendy on social media, with people condemning and criticising the government for the expressway’s low-quality work and the degree of corruption involved in the project.