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Akhilesh's Lucknow-Agra Expressway Project Under Yogi Adityanath's Scanner

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | ETV @qazifarazahmad

Updated: April 21, 2017, 2:20 PM IST
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Akhilesh's Lucknow-Agra Expressway Project Under Yogi Adityanath's Scanner
File image of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Mahant of Gorakhdham Temple Yogi Adityanath. (Image: Getty Images)

Lucknow: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s ambitious Lucknow-Agra Expressway project has come under the scanner of the Yogi Adityanath government. The expressway, which was thrown open to the public barely four months ago, is being scrutinised for an alleged scam, involving farm land being passed as land for residential purposes to get higher compensation.

In a letter dated April 19, the state government directed 10 district magistrates to probe all land deals in around 230 villages done over the last 18 months. The Yogi government has also hired public sector company RITES to conduct a technical survey of the expressway.

“The government will not stop any project. The only aim is to ensue genuine farmers are not affected. At the same time, the government will take strict action if any anomaly arises,” said Awanish Awasthi, new chief executive officer of Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA). Awasthi added that the probe will be completed in a month’s time.

The move comes after UPEIDA special field officer Y N Lal filed an FIR in Firozabad against five chakbandi officers and 22 land owners accusing them of showing agriculture land in Bachhela Bachheli village as land for residential purposes. Around 3,500 hectare of land was purchased from 20,456 farmers in 10 districts of 232 villages for this project.

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The SP government had claimed that the expressway was constructed in record time. The expressway, which cost Rs 15000 crore, passes through Etawah, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Unno, Kanpur, Kannauj, Auraiya and Hardoi, regions which are considered to be Samajwadi bastions. The 302-km long expressway also has an air strip near Unnao, where fighter planes can land. The air strip on this expressway is 3 km long.

First Published: April 21, 2017, 1:56 PM IST
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