The Madhya Pradesh government on Saturday sanctioned Rs 781 crore for an expressway through Chambal, a region which along with Gwalior accounts for 16 of the 24 seats for which bypolls are needed.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the sanctioning of money for the project in a virtual meeting with Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. It was also attended by Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and BJP Rajya Sabha member Jyotiraditya Scindia.
"The proposed expressway will have a length of 309 kilometres in MP and will be a connector to Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh," Chouhan said.
Incidentally, the money has been sanctioned two days after a cabinet expansion in the state in which 10 leaders from Chambal and Gwalior got berths. The region now has 11 ministers, including powerful state BJP leader Narottam Mishra.
The BJP has fast-tracked this project with an eye on 24 assembly by-polls, 16 of which take place in Gwalior-Chambal region.
The progress way, as Chouhan likes to call it, comprises four corridors -- the East West corridor covers Delhi, Agra, Kanpur and Kolkata while North covers Delhi and Mumbai. With the development of this project, the journey from Kota to Etawah will be easier.
The progress way is proposed in four lanes and sufficient land will be spared for development of eight lanes highway in future. With a total length of 358 km, Madhya Pradesh will get 309 km of expressway, UP 17 km and Rajasthan 32km.
“It’s a dream project of us,” said Chouhan, adding Chambal they are committed to developing it into a developed and affluent region.
Chouhan said industrial hubs and sector-wise clusters will be developed as part of this project.
"For early commencement of the project, we have constituted a high power committee led by Chief Secretary which will work for speedy approvals of this project and I will also speak to Chief Minister of Rajasthan," he said.
Former Congress minister Brijendra Rathore criticised the project floated by the BJP ahead of the by-polls.
“Whenever an election is around, they (BJP) have a dream project in mind,” he said.
The government will extend Rs 781 crore financial assistance to this project, including Rs 421 cr land, Rs 330 as royalty of clay and stones to be used in this project, Rs 30 crore to be spent on various approvals including forest land approvals.
The corridor in MP will pass through Bhind, Morena, Sheopur and through borders of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. This corridor will touch Agra-Kanpur expressway at Bhind, North-South Corridor at Morena and Delhi-Mumbai corridor in Rajasthan, said Chouhan.