Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the much-awaited Purvanchal Expressway in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The 341-km-long expressway will connect Lucknow with Ghazipur. This will be the longest operational expressway of India, overtaking Agra-Lucknow Expressway, which is 302-km long. It will cut the time it takes to drive from Lucknow to Ghazipur from 6 hours to 3.5 hours.
The Prime Minister arrived in a C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft that landed on the 3.2-kilometre-long airstrip constructed on the Kurebhar stretch of the Access Controlled Greenfield expressway in Sultanpur.
He dedicated the project to the people almost three years after laying its foundation on July 14, 2018, in Azamgarh.
Addressing a gathering in Sultanpur, PM Modi said, “I used to be surprised by the situation 7-8 years back. I used to be surprised that what are some people punishing UP for? So, in 2014 when you gave me the opportunity to serve this great nation, I started going into the minute details of its development – as its MP, as the PM.”
He went on to add that he initiated a lot of projects for UP. Poor were given pucca houses, toilets were ensured in their houses so that women don’t need to step out to relieve themselves, that every house should have electricity – a lot of such things were necessary to be taken up here.
“But I’m pained that the then UP govt didn’t cooperate. They were also scared of upsetting their vote banks by standing beside me in public. I used to come as an MP, they used to disappear after receiving me at airport. They were ashamed as they had nothing to show as work,” he added.
The Prime minister was accompanied by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, UP Guv Anandiben Patel and Sultanpur MP Maneka Gandhi at the event.
Claiming that it was the Yogi govt that had stressed the importance to the eastern parts of the state, he said, “For previous chief ministers, development was limited to where they had their homes. But today, the West is respected as much as it is for Purvanchal. Today Purvanchal Expressway is bridging this gap of UP, connecting UP with each other.”