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Uttar Pradesh thinks big on renewables, turns Bundelkhand Expressway into solar powerhouse

PM Gati Shakti along with other schemes have boosted India's image as an investment destination

With emphasis on renewable and clean energy being part of Government India’s policy, Uttar Pradesh has decided to convert the 296-kilometre-long Bundelkhand Expressway as the State’s first solar expressway.

Solar energy will be generated by installing solar farms or panels along both sides of the expressway. For this the land between the main carriageway and the service road will be used.

This four-lane expressway has been developed in such a way that the width of the land between the main carriageway and service road is between 15 to 20 metres and this is well protected with barbed wire fencing. This land which is well secured and adequate has been identified as “suitable” for “laying of solar panels” in an initial survey.

The Uttar Pradesh State Government led by Yogi Adityanath has decided to explore the feasibility of the project which is to be implemented under the public private partnership model. For this they have invited expression of interest from developers, with the deadline set for August 17.

Aimed at generating solar energy, the Government through the project will urge the interested parties to explore the possibility of development of solar parks on PPP mode, along both sides of the expressway and to finalise the contour of the project.

The Bundelkhand Expressway which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 16, 2022, starts from the Lucknow-Agra Expressway near Etawah and ends at Bharatkoop in Chitrakoot district of Bundelkhand covering Auraiya, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Mahoba and Banda in between.

According to Manoj Kumar Singh, Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority, industrial clusters in Jalaun and Banda stretch of the expressway will be developed. In the first phase of this plan, 10 industrial sectors have been selected for which land will be allotted in these stretches,

The sectors which have been selected include automobile and heavy engineering, electrical and electronics, food and agriculture, engineering, textile and apparel, plant and organic material processing, medical supplies and allied units, building materials, warehousing, packaging and logistics sectors among others.