Source: The Times of India
Greater Noida: Conceived way back in 2001, Yamuna Expressway will finally be thrown open to the public on August 9. The 165km expressway will be inaugurated by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, the CM’s office told the developer, Jaypee Group, on Wednesday.
The Rs 11,000crore expressway — the country’s longest six-laned access-controlled stretch— which has missed multiple deadlines, recently got the UP government’s approval. According to sources, the chief minister will throw open the expressway by pressing the button from Lucknow. “Due to prior engagements, the CM cannot make it to Greater Noida for the inauguration ceremony. He will do the honours from Lucknow,” an official said.
Meanwhile, the Jaypee Group has planned a grand affair for the opening, the details of which will be announced soon. Sources also said that three to four ministers from the state government and several dignitaries would be attending the inaugural function.
Once operational, the highspeed expressway will connect Greater Noida with Agra slashing the travel time between the two locations from four hours to less than 100 minutes. Last month, the state government had already notified the speed limit of 100 kmph for cars and 60 kmph for heavy vehicles.
According to a source, the proposed toll fee to be charged on the expressway has been vetted by the state law and finance departments. The final approval from the chief minister’s office is expected to come on Friday well before the expressway is officially declared open. “The CM’s office has conveyed to us that we will receive a formal communication about the toll on August 3,” said an official from the Jaypee Group.
Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) has proposed that the toll tax on light vehicles like cars and jeeps be fixed at Rs 2.10 per km, for medium heavy vehicles like minibuses at Rs 3.25 and for buses and trucks at Rs 6.60. For heavy vehicles, the proposed figure is Rs10.10 per km and for big heavy vehicles it is Rs 12.95 per km. The tax would be collected by the concessionaire for 36 years. At present, there are three toll tax plazas along the expressway — at Jewar, Mathura and Agra.
The expressway has six interchanges, 70 vehicular underpasses, 41 minor bridges, 76 cart track underpasses and 183 culverts. There are SOS booths along the route besides a toll free helpline. To ensure commuters’ safety, CCTV cameras have been installed at regular intervals.
The project has witnessed many delays since it was conceived during the Mayawati regime in 2001. It was originally named Taj Expressway but the project couldn’t take off because of a government change in 2003. The project was revived in 2007 and renamed Yamuna Expressway.
p.s.: Though there is no official word on it, but it seems that the two-wheelers are not allowed on the Yamuna expressway, which is kind of sad.