Agra: The 165 km,
six-lane Yamuna Expressway, which will drastically cut down the
travel time between Delhi and Agra, has become the favourite of
enthusiastic riders and speedsters even before its official
Though complete, it awaits a nod from the new Akhilesh Yadav-led
Samajwadi Party government, probably because it was conceived by
the previous Mayawati government that built it at an estimated
cost of Rs 11,000 crore ($ 2 bn). Abutting the river Yamuna, it
will reduce travel time between Greater Noida and Agra by about 90
"I covered the distance from Buddh circuit (Greater Noida) to
Kuberpur crossing on Firozabad road in Agra in 70 minutes," said
Rohit, a speed-crazy youth who drove in his Tata Innova. A
motorcycle rider, Pipindra Powar, clocked 90 minutes to cover the
To access the expressway, some speed junkies also pay "tips" to
securitymen at the entry points.
Agra resident Sudheir says he recently zipped through to Delhi to
see the facilities on the corridor. It took him about two hours to
reach near the Buddh International Circuit.
"We started at 7 a.m. from Agra Fort crossing...our driver
maintained a steady speed of 80-100 kmph, with brief stops at the
four toll plazas. We were stopped by the security guards but later
allowed...We reached the Greater Noida intersection, close to the
Buddh circuit, at 9 a.m.," Sudheir told IANS. He said the drive
was comfortable all through.
The problem started, he said, after entering Delhi due to city
traffic. "..We headed for the Indira Gandhi International Airport,
via Kalindi Kunj and the Ashram flyover. By the time we reached
the terminal building, it was 10.50 a.m."
Sharing his experience, Sudheir said: "The elevated road provided
a panoramic view of the surroundings. We could see herds of blue
bulls (Neel Gai) sitting in the shade far away. The fencing was in
progress... Work on amenities at the toll plazas was nearing
completion. To me it looked as if we are pointlessly holding up
A retired engineer, S.P. Singh, said: "The Expressway was designed
for Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, not for the Delhi airport or the
tourists who in any case would prefer to land directly in Agra
once the new airport comes up."
The existing national highway Number 2 that connects Delhi with
Agra is already being upgraded by the Reliance group.
Hotelier Surendra Sharma told IANS: "The Uttar Pradesh government
at the moment is more serious about starting work on a new airport
either in Mathura or Agra. Simultaneously they have started
exploring the feasibility of a Pavan Hans helicopter service
between Delhi, Mathura and Agra."
(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)