Jaypee Infrastructure’s Rs 13,300-crore road project, Yamuna Expressway, might divert part of tourist traffic from the National Highway between Delhi and Agra, but will not be able to woo commercial cargo traffic diversions.

This is because toll charges for heavy commercial vehicles on the Expressway are over six times compared with the Delhi-Agra National Highway, points out the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT).

“For heavy commercial vehicles, the toll charge between Greater Noida to Agra is Rs 1,600, while on the NH-2, it is Rs 250,” S.P. Singh, Senior Fellow, IFTRT, said.

In terms of time, there is not much of a difference. “On the Expressway, commercial vehicles are expected to take two-and-half hours to over three hours between Greater Noida and Agra. On the National Highway, the time taken is between three-and-half hours and four hours,” he added.

However, tourist traffic East Delhi, NOIDA, Ghaziabad is expected to take the Yamuna Expressway for Agra, a top tourist destination.

The inauguration of the Expressway, however, is a good move for listed company, Jaypee Infratech, which will start booking toll revenues. The company has rights to develop 6175 acres along the Expressway.

Meanwhile, Reliance Infrastructure has won the project to widen the current four-lane National Highway stretch to six lanes. When asked how the Expressway would impact the revenues of Reliance Infrastructure, both Government and industry officials said that Reliance was aware of the project.

The project, built and executed under former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati, was inaugurated by her successor, Akhilesh Yadav, on Thursday.

Meanwhile, farmers along the route have protested against non-construction of service lanes. Mathura’s Member of Parliament, Jayant Chaudhary, has written a letter to Akhilesh Yadav listing these issues, flagging issues such as land acquisition disputes and high toll charges.

Mamuni.das@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 9, 2012)
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