The construction of the Ganga Expressway in Uttar Pradesh is set to begin this year. The preparatory work on the expressway is gaining pace with clearing and grubbing completed on 500 km out of the total 593.94 km.

The progress report from the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority shows that 84.11 per cent of clearing and grubbing work and 7.3 per cent of earth work has been completed on the expressway.

The expressway will feature a unique addition – a 3.5 km-long airstrip. This airstrip will act as an emergency runway for Indian Air Force fighter jets. This is not the first time such an airstrip will be built as part of an expressway, as the Purvanchal Expressway and Agra-Lucknow expressway also have this feature.

During the inauguration of the Purvanchal Expressway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed on the airstrip on a C-17 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force. This was followed by the landings of Su-30 MKIs, Jaguars and Mirage 2000 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force.

Earlier, Indian Air Force fighters, including Mirage 2000 and Su-30MKIs, have performed touch-and-go landings on airstrips that are part of Yamuna Expressway and the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.

The foundation stone of the six-lane Ganga Expressway was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 18, 2021 in Shahjahanpur. The project was stuck in the planning stages since 2007 and was revived in 2019 by the Yogi Adityanath government.

Traversing through 12 districts – Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Sambhal, Budaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj – the fully access controlled expressway would connect the eastern and western parts of the state.

While the Adani Group will build around 80 per cent of the expressway (the 464 km stretch between Budaun in the western part of the state to Prayagraj in the eastern part), IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited will develop the 129.7 km stretch from Meerut to Budaun.