NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin a two-day tour of eastern Uttar Pradesh from Saturday during which he will visit his parliamentary constituency Varanasi and lay the foundation stone of Rs 23,000 crore and 340-km long Purvanchal Expressway in Azamgarh.
The Prime Minister will also inaugurate several development projects and address rallies in Varanasi, Azamgarh and Mirzapur during the 2-day tour – his second visit to the politically crucial state in a week.
In Varanasi, the Prime Minister will dedicate and lay the foundation stone of important projects, cumulatively worth over Rs 900 crore. Among the projects to be dedicated are the Varanasi City Gas Distribution Project and the Varanasi-Ballia EMU train.
The Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone for an International Convention Centre in the city. The foundation stone will be laid for the Panchkoshi Parikrama Marg and several projects under the Smart City Mission and Namami Gange.
In Varanasi, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, will release a book titled “Meri Kashi,” in the presence of PM Modi. The book will give glimpses of the extensive development work across Varanasi in the last four years.
After arriving in Azamgarh on the same day, the Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of the 340-km long Poorvanchal Expressway. The six-lane expressway will provide a smooth ride between the state capital and Ghazipur in eastern UP, where the BJP is trying to consolidate its position ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
This road will connect several towns of eastern Uttar Pradesh including Barabanki, Amethi, Sultanpur, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur with the state capital Lucknow.
“Once this Expressway is complete, Delhi will be connected via the expressway to several major towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh from Noida in the west to Ghazipur in the east,” the PMO said in a tweet.
The Rs 23,000-crore expressway will be constructed in three years.
PM Modi will arrive in Mirzapur on Sunday where he will dedicate the Bansagar Canal to the nation.
“This project will provide a big boost to irrigation in the region, and will be greatly beneficial for the farmers of Mirzapur and Allahabad districts of Uttar Pradesh,” the PMO said.
He will lay the foundation stone of the Mirzapur Medical College. He will inaugurate 108 Jan Aushadhi Kendras in the state. He will also dedicate a bridge over Ganga at Balughat, Chunar, which will facilitate connectivity between Mirzapur and Varanasi.
War of words over credit
A bitter war of words has begun between the ruling BJP and the Samajwadi Party over the Rs 23,000-crore Purvanchal Expressway project the foundation stone of which wil be laid by the PM today.
The opposition party is claiming that project is the brainchild of its leader and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who laid a foundation stone for the same stretch in December 2016.
“With this expressway, the eastern districts of the state will get linked with New Delhi via Yamuna expressway and it will become the longest expressway in the country,” Yadav was then quoted as saying.
Taking a jibe at the BJP government, SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said, “The SP government had vision while this government is sans any vision.”
”They only want to term the work done by the SP government as their own. They simply have nothing of their own to showcase to the people of the state,” he said.
SP workers led by senior party leader Balram Singh Yadav had staged a demonstration at the Azamgarh district collectorate yesterday against the planned launch of the project.
The state BJP spokesperson Chandramohan said the government had taken up the project to help develop eastern UP.