Quality of Puvanchal Expressway compromised: Akhilesh

Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav has accused the BJP of having compromised on the quality of construction in the much-publicised Purvanchal Expressway project.

Akhilesh Yadav wanted to know if Prime Minister Narendra Modi was aware that specifications of the Indian Road Congress, apex body of highway engineers in the country, have been thrown to the wind to reduce the project cost.

“The material used in the expressway and scant regard to specifications of the road congress will not only take its toll on the quality of the construction, but also make journey by road more cumbersome for commuters. He said as per the Indian Road Congress the Expressway should have a 12-metre divider, but the median has been compromised to reduce cost.

“These specifications of the Indian Road Congress came after the Lucknow-Agra expressway was completed and should be adhered to by all new expressways constructed thereafter but have been conveniently overlooked in Purvanchal Expressway,” the SP chief said.

Akhilesh further said: “It is not only about the median. Government advertisements claim that geo cells have been put in place to hold the soil from being washed away by water during rains. In layman’s language these geo-cells are known as plastic sheets. Government claims bitumen used in the process will contain rubber for improved quality and performance. But the recent rains saw sections of the expressway being washed away.

“Were geo cells missing from the part of the expressway that were washed away in the rains? If mixing rubber in bitumen has improved the quality of the expressway, then why has the riding quality come down?”

He said the riding quality of the Purvanchal expressway is such that it will leave commuters with stomach ache and backaches.”The Prime Minister is inaugurating the project. Is he aware of these issues?” the SP chief asked.

Akhilesh Yadav also questioned the basis on which some top construction firms were dropped from the project by the ruling BJP.

“These very companies are associated with the construction of Ram Temple, statue of Sardar Patel and some most important projects of the country. Why were they dropped from the project?”

The 341-km-long Purvanchal Expressway is being inaugurated by the Prime Minister on Tuesday and will connect UP’s nine districts, including Lucknow, Barabanki, Amethi, Sultanpur, Ayodhya, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur.