UP to invest $4.25 billion on state highways

Agra, Jan 28 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh plans to invest Rs.23,000 crore ($4.25 billion) on upgrading state highways and will build a new expressway linking Lucknow and Agra, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said here Monday.

"We realise that we need to upgrade infrastructure in the state to facilitate industrial growth. We have an ambitious plan to invest Rs.23,000 crore in upgrading state highways," Yadav said at the three-day partnership summit that began in the Taj City Sunday.

The chief minister said the state government also plans to construct a new expressway linking Lucknow and Agra, and connect all district headquarters with four-lane highways.

The proposed expressway is expected to cut down the journey time from Agra to Lucknow to three hours from more than six hours at present. The project is estimated to cost around Rs.9,500 crore.

This will be the second high-speed road in the state after the Yamuna Expressway that connects Agra to Noida near the national capital New Delhi.

Yadav said his government aims to develop 16,000 megawatt of additional electricity generation capacity over the next five years to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the state.

"We plan to add more than 16,000 MW of generation capacity which will make uninterrupted power a reality," he said.

Yadav also announced development of two new airports near Agra and Kushinagar on public-private-partnership basis.

"Public-private partnerships will be a key plank for executing many of these large infrastructure projects which will in turn make our industries more competitive," he said.

Yadav said his government would create effective policies and upgrade infrastructure to attract investments.

"We are committed to provide an investor-friendly business environment which is marked by transparency and speedy decision making and approvals," he said.

(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be contacted at gyanendra.k@ians.in)

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