The most awe-inspiring aspect of this project has been its time-bound execution.
Six Indian Air Force jets on a simulated landing sortie at the Agra-Lucknow expressway was a most impressive spectacle. This was done once last year as a measure of war-like emergency preparedness when jets landed on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura. What Monday’s event on a 3.2 km stretch symbolised is the progress Uttar Pradesh has made in infrastructure growth. When India’s longest greenfield expressway is finally operational, the six-lane Rs 13,200-crore 302-km highway will cut travel time between Lucknow and New Delhi by around three to six hours. It’s not just the autobahn-type experience for motorists that makes it so attractive, but the faster flow of goods and people, facilitating commerce.
The most awe-inspiring aspect of this project has been its time-bound execution. Built in 22 months, it faced no obstacles in acquisition of land as 3,500 hectares had to be taken over, and all of was said to have been bought at an acceptable price from the owners. This simply shows where there is a will, there is a way. The impetus to the economy will come soon enough as rural India tends to follow the roads and earmarking of sites for two mandis along the route is bound to give a fillip to agriculture trade, with the movement of produce facilitated by the quality of the road. It was said of China that its great economic success followed the elaborate planning which saw infrastructure being put up first in roads, railways and ports before the country became a factory to the world. Infrastructure truly is the economy’s catalyst.