Lucknow: As a major jolt to Akhilesh government, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered probe into Rs 15000-crore Lucknow-Agra Expressway, the dream project of former CM Akhilesh Yadav, while roping in state-owned agency RITES to conduct survey of land acquisition for the project.
The RITES will prepare and submit a report with the state government with regards to status of about 3500 hectare land acquired in about 230 villages of ten districts from over 30000 farmers. A lot of complaints were made over irregularities over the change of land use in order to benefit certain people close to Samajwadi Party government.
The UP CM has also sent letters to District Magistrates of Lucknow, Unnao, Kanpur Dehat, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Hardoi, Kannuaj, Firozabad and Agra, the 302-kms Expressway passed through. The DM have been asked to furnish details of land transactions during the last 18 months, according to an official spokesman.
It may be recalled that the project was included in the dream project list of Akhilesh and he had made this as one of the major developmental planks during the last UP assembly poll campaign. A 3-kilometer stretch of this expressway can be used for landing of fighter planes also.
The project, which was claimed to was built in record time, was executed by UP Expressway Development Authority (UPEDA) with much-talked about IAS officer Navneet Sehgal as its CEO. Sehgal was removed from the post and put into waiting before the probe was ordered.
In fact, the Firozabad DM Neha Sharma had initiated the whole thing by ordering a FIR against 27 land officials in connection with changing the land use of land to pay more compensation to favoured ones.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh government removed Sushil Gupta, the finance controller of UPEDA, from his post. This is the first penalty in the multi-crore expressway probe.