The Rs 2,250-crore (Rs 22.5 billion) Taj Expressway project, which envisages a six-laned 165 km stretch connecting Greater Noida to Agra, would reduce travel time between Delhi to Agra from the current four hours to around two hours.
The project, which is being implemented on build-operate-transfer basis by the concessionaire Jaiprakash Associates Ltd, is expected to be completed by February 2010, before the commencement of the Commonwealth Games.
A special purpose vehicle by the name Jaypee Infratech Ltd has been incorporated recently to implement the project by the concessionaire. The project had been awarded to the JAL on the basis of competitive bidding by the UP government through the Taj Expressway Industrial Development Authority.
Though the concession agreement between the UP government and JAL was signed in February 2003, and the implementation of the project was delayed due to various judicial inquiries over it, JAL officials said they would be able to complete it by February 2010, the original deadline of the project.
Jaypee officials said they have already carried out surveys, studies, investigations, design and engineering work. They have also finalised the alignment and have obtained clearance from the Union environment ministry, and construction work for the first 5 km has already started.
JIL has to construct the six-lane access controlled expressway on left bank of the Yamuna at its own cost. For this, TEA has to provide around 1,775 hectares of land, while in addition to this, TEA also has to provide 2,500 hectares of land for development along the expressway, which JIL would use for commercial, industrial and residential development purposes.
Apart from this, JIL would have to levy and collect toll from the users for the concession period of 36 years. Once the concession period is over, JIL would hand over the project to TEA at nil cost. Since it is an infrastructure project, JIL, sources say, would be entitled for a tax holiday for 10 year period out of 15 years, starting from the commissioning of the project.
The expressway would have 37 underpasses, three main toll plazas, six plazas on the interchange loop, and 42 minor bridges.