Agra-Lucknow Expressway saw a big-bang inauguration today with the landing of 8 IAF (Indian Air Force) jets on India's longest greenfield expressway!
Four Mirage 2000s and four Sukhois of the IAF made a terrific and spectacular landing on a select stretch of the Agra-Lucknow expressway, marking a first for the inauguration of a highway in India.
According to the UPEIDA, the development authority behind the expressway, a 2-km stretch on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway has been built to facilitate landing and take-off of fighter jets in "war-like situations". The exercise is aimed at testing the quality of build of the expressway, and would also go a long way in aiding the Defence Ministry's plan to use highways and expressways as possible landing and take-off strips.
The Agra-Lucknow expressway is Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav's pet project and his major pitch to showcase his government's focus on development.
Apart from the stylish inauguration of the expressway, one of India's largest infrastructure projects is noteworthy for many reasons. According to the UP government the 302-km expressway will help cut down the time between Agra and Lucknow to just 3.5 hours, from the current 7 hours. Moreover, the expressway is expected the reduce the road travel time between Delhi and Lucknow to anywhere between 5 to 6 hours!
The Agra-Lucknow Expressway has a design speed of up to 120 kms per hour. It will have automatic traffic management systems aimed at reducing road accidents and helping even at the time of fog. The six-lane expressway is expandable to 8-lanes.
Reports suggest that the bridges and underpasses have been made 8-lane to avoid traffic congestion and bottlenecks once the expressway is expanded to 8-lane. The expressway has an 8-lane bridge across the river Ganga. This will connect Kanpur and Unnao.
The Agra-Lucknow Expressway will be connected to the famous Yamuna Expressway via an Agra Ring Road. This will help provide the requisite connectivity to the national capital of Delhi and NCR areas like Noida.
According to the UP government, the objective of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway is to ensure development of nearby areas, provide a fast-moving corridor that allows seamless travel, reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles that travel between the two cities, help farmers to expand reach of their products to larger cities, and attract investors in the state.