The Uttar Pradesh Expressway and Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) is racing against time to complete the Purvanchal Expressway project by Diwali this year, as promised by the government. The 340-km long Purvanchal Expressway connecting Lucknow with Ghazipur has been delayed by a month due to the lockdown. UPEIDA Chief Executive Officer Avanish Awasthi said, "As against 10,000 workers only 4,835 workers are working at the site. All district magistrates have been asked to get labourers medically examined before they start working in eight packages. We will complete the project on time hopefully."
He said work on three out of six packages in the Bundelkhand Expressway had also been started though only 2,150 workers against the requirement of 6,000 are working at the moment.
According to UPEIDA sources, around 42 per cent of the work on the project has been completed after the 100 per cent acquisition of land. "The remaining 58 per cent will be completed by increasing the workforce," said an official.
An UPEIDA official said that while several labourers had returned to their homes during the lockdown, some are residing near the site itself and they are returning to work.
All precautions will be taken at the work site and social distancing will be maintained. Strict orders in this regard have been issued to the site officials," an official said.
UPEIDA is also planning to rework its strategy to accelerate the project, sources said.
The state government had announced in February that the expressway would be opened for public by Diwali.