Agra Lucknow Expressway
The Agra Lucknow Expressway is a 302 km tolled controlled-access highway or expressway, constructed by the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority to reduce traffic in already congested roads and to reduce pollution and carbon footprint. It is the longest expressway in India. The expressway reduced the distance between the cities of Agra and Lucknow in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is a 6-lane expressway which is expandable to 8-lanes in future. It was completed and inaugurated on 21 November 2016 by the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav. It is widely seen as his dream project and the flagship model of development in the state, being the first of its kind to be completed in the shortest span of time.
|Agra - Lucknow Expressway|
|Length||302 km (188 mi)|
|Existed||2 April 2017 – present|
The cost of project was expected to be ₹15,000 crore (equivalent to ₹150 billion or US$2.4 billion in 2017) but was completed in ₹13,200 crore (equivalent to ₹140 billion or US$2.1 billion in 2017) and in record time of 22 months. It would cut travel time between Lucknow and Agra from 6 hours to 3:30 hours. The expressway is 6-lane wide (expandable to 8-lane in future) although the structures (major, minor bridges and underpasses) on the expressway are already being constructed as 8-laned to be in tune with the expanded width of the expressway in future. It is proposed on minimum distance and minimal agricultural land formula and will be financed by the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The Expressway will carry all public amenities viz. underpasses, service roads, provision for green belt, rest houses, petrol pumps, service centres, restaurants and four agricultural mandis for milk, potatoes, grains, fruits and vegetables.
|S.No||Station||Inter Station distance in Kilometres||Chainage in Kilometres From Agra|
- Total Route Length: 302 km
This expressway is connected to Yamuna Expressway through the Agra Ring Road, and thus providing an express link between Greater Noida, NCR to Lucknow via Agra. It connects Agra and Lucknow via Shikohabad, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kanpur, Unnao and Hardoi. The expressway will start at village Etmadpur Madra near Agra and will end at village Sarosa Bharosa near Mohan Road, Lucknow.
The objectives of the expressway are as follows:
- To provide a fast moving corridor to minimize the travel time.
- To connect the main townships / commercial centres on the northern side of Yamuna.
- To ensure the development of adjoining area like Mainpuri. Once Mainpuri is connected to Lucknow, Mainpuri will become a new Business Zone opening up opportunities for development.
- To relieve NH-91 which is already congested and runs through the heart of cities like Aligarh, Etah and Unnao.
- Reduce pollution and carbon footprint of vehicles travelling between Lucknow and Agra (commercial as well as tourists visiting the Taj Mahal).
- Improve vehicle fuel mileage efficiency, reduce wear and tear on vehicles, and reduce logistical costs.
- Enable farmers in western Uttar Pradesh to move agricultural, horticultural and milk products rapidly to major cities.
- Accelerate movement of supplies and help to affected areas during Yamuna floods and other emergencies.
- To infuse a new impetus to the development of the state by attracting investors in a big way.
- November 2013: No developers bid for this 9000 crore rupees project on a "build, own, operate and transfer" basis. Exclusion of provision for free land parcels across the expressway to developer was the main concern among participating developer companies for keeping them away from project.
- June 2014: Government of Uttar Pradesh decided to execute this project through state government financing, rather than private vendor financed basis, without provision for free land parcels across the expressway to developer companies. Government of Uttar Pradesh invited bids in 5 packages to 6 lane Agra Lucknow Expressway. Following this, 24 companies submitted their applications for five different patches of the expressway.
- August 2014: Through bidding process developers are finalised who will be executing each of five sections simultaneously. The sections, its length and the developer who will be developing that section are listed following : Agra-Firozabad (55.3 km, Tata Projects Limited), Firozabad-Etawah (62 km,Afcons Infrastructure Limited), Etawah-Kannauj (57 km, Nagarjuna Construction Company), Kanauj-Unnao (64 km, Afcons Infrastructure Limited), Unnao-Lucknow (63 km, Larsen & Toubro)
- September 2014: 50% of the land required for the project is already acquired.
- November 2014: "Foundation stone laid". 7000 acres acquired for this 15,000 Crores project. The target for the completion of the project is set to 22 months.
- May 2015: Work on two major bridges on Yamuna and Ganga river started. UP Chief Secretary, Alok Ranjan said that the expressway would be operational by the end of October 2016.
- Feb 2016: Progress can be seen on Google Maps and Bing Maps, except for few sections one can see entire stretch on Google Maps starting from Kuberpur (at end of Yamuna Expressway near Agra) to Lucknow. 
- Nov 2016: The expressway was inaugurated on 21 November by CM Akhilesh Yadav.
- December 2016: The expressway was partially opened to public from Lucknow till Shikohabad. As of 23 December 2016, only light vehicles were allowed to pass the stretch.
- Feb 2017: The expressway is opened to public from Lucknow till Agra on 23-Feb-2017, but still road construction is happening at some places. 
- 19 January 2018: Toll collection starts.
The toll rates applicable for the Agra Lucknow Expressway (as of January 2018) is given in the table below:
|Car, jeep, van or light motor vehicles||570|
|Light commercial vehicle or mini bus||905|
|Bus and truck||1815|
|Heavy construction work machine and multi-axle vehicle (3 to 6)||2,785|
|Over-sized vehicle (7 and above axles)||3,575|
The Agra-Lucknow Expressway is considered to be a Greenfield project as there were no work constraints of existing buildings or infrastructure. Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) purchased almost 3127 hectares of land without a murmur of dissent and decided to pay four times the circle rates (CR) to the land owners in rural areas and twice the CR in urban parts, as purchase cost. The rest of land was acquired through land acquisition method
Emergency landing stripEdit
- A group of six fighter jets of the Indian Air Force, comprising Sukhoi Su-30MKI and Dassault Mirage 2000, touched down to perform test runs on Agra-Lucknow expressway on the day of its inauguration.
- According to UPEIDA, "A dedicated 3 km stretch has been built for war-like emergencies on expressway."
- In May 2015,as a first military aviation in the country, IAF successfully landed a French Dassault Mirage-2000 fighter jet on the Yamuna Expressway near Raya village, Mathura, as a part of elaborate trials to see how many other highways can be used for war-like emergencies.
It was alleged that some of the 3,500 hectare of land that was purchased for the route were artificially inflated in price by officials who then received kickbacks from the landowners. Lands that were in fact farmland were listed as residential, which gave them a higher value.
- Expressways in India
- National Highways Development Project
- Purvanchal Expressway
- National Expressway 2 (India), Eastern Peripheral Expressway or KGP (Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal) is a proposed road which will bypass Delhi on eastern side.
- Western Peripheral Expressway, a complementary and under implementation road bypassing Delhi from western side, Sonepat-Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP).
- Yamuna Expressway aka Taj Expressway from Noida to Agra
- Highway strip
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