Authorities in Uttar Pradesh (UP), India’s biggest state, are working at record speed to lay the infrastructure to connect its innumerable attractions created by its diverse ethnic mix with The Taj Mahal. Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Agra Ring Road, a Bicycle Highway between Agra and Etawah and many more projects will link the most popular Taj Mahal with many less explored, yet beautiful, attractions. The Central Indian state could well be the fifth populous nation with its 220 million citizens if it was an independent country.
Alok Ranjan, Chief Advisor to Chief Minister(CM), Uttar Pradesh, said at the second Travel Writers conclave in Varanasi during the weekend that: “CM is focussing on developing infrastructure. Travel between Delhi to State capital Lucknow will be possible in 5.5 to 6 hours once the Agra-Lucknow Expressway is ready in a month’s time.”
302 km Agra-Lucknow controlled-access Highway with 6 lanes and a provisional extension to 8 lanes is being built at a quick pace with an investment of US$ 2.2 bn. This will be connected to Delhi-Agra Yamuna Expressway through the Agra Ring Road, seamlessly linking Lucknow and Delhi.
Om Prakash Singh, Tourism Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh, said: “326 km Internal Ring Road in Agra is built at the fastest speed of 22 months and will be ready in 4 month’s time. State will provide finance to set-up state-of-the-art washroom facilities at petrol stations. Incentives are also being provided for setting-up hotels”
Infrastructure is also created to encourage heritage and eco-tourism.
Yamuna Expressway connecting Agra to Delhi offers a quick, smooth ride
Young and dynamic Professor Abhishek Mishra, Minister, Vocational Education and Skilled Development, UP, said: “Cycle tracks between Agra and Saifai will be ready in 6 months. UP is also an interesting destination for linguistic tours, to learn how different languages have evolved and are in use over centuries.”
197 km long and two meter wide Bicycle Highway starting from the East Gate of Taj Mahal will cover Raja Bhoj Ki Haveli, picturesque Bhateshwar Temple complex on the banks of Yamuna, Mela Kothi eco-tourist lodge at Jarar, tranquil Chambal valley and many beautiful countryside attractions.
Bicycle Highway will pass thorugh Chambal
Navneet Sehgal, Principal Secretary & Director General Department of Tourism, Government of UP, said: “Intra-state connectivity by air will be launched within a month. Small 20 seater aircraft will ply commuters between the three key cities of the Heritage Arc-Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi and also to many other towns of tourist attractions.”
Expressways are making the drive between destinations quick and smooth
UP is putting together an online platform to link all travel related products and its sellers for easy interaction of buyers of tourism products. The second edition of UP Travel Writers Conclave, like the previous one, hosted 42 writers from across the globe to three days of tour to both popular and lesser known attractions of Agra, Lucknow or Varanasi, according to ones choice.
Written by Anand & Madhura Katti