LUCKNOW: Considered among the backward areas of the state for years, Purvanchal appears to be on its way to recovery. An expressway connecting it with Delhi, two airports, including an international one at Kushinagar and promotion of local produce and handicraft have opened up the region to investments and job opportunities.
In a surge of infrastructural work, the region is being linked to other parts of the state and to Delhi via the Purvanchal Expressway. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that it is crucial to open up the region through easy connectivity in order to bring investment into the region. The project is about 80% complete and will be operational within this year.
It will start from village Haideria on National Highway-31, 18km before the UP-Bihar border and cover a length of 340.824 kms to end at village Chandsarai on the Lucknow-Sultanpur road in Lucknow district. From here it will connect with the Lucknow-Agra Expressway, giving it direct connectivity with Delhi. The proposed Ganga Expressway, which is planned till Prayagraj, is also likely to be extended to Varanasi and will connect the district directly with the Delhi border up to Meerut and further onto Haridwar.
Along with this, the Kushinagar Airport is being developed as an international airport and is set to be inaugurated shortly. Kushinagar serves as an important site for Buddhists. With a focus on developing religious tourism in the state, Purvanchal becomes a crucial segment in the Buddhist circuit and Kushinagar will serve as the entry point for visitors, especially foreign tourists. As a result, major property development has also started in the area.
Under religious tourism, the other city to get attention is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi. These two districts attract about 65% of the state’s annual tourist inflow. Along with the Kashi Vishwanath corridor, ghats have been spruced up while various projects are in the implementation stage for cleaning of the Ganga.
Varanasi is also being promoted as a hub for agri exports and will be getting an international level pack house. The pack house is a facility where agricultural produce is received and packaged or processed before being shipped or distributed. Additional Chief Secretary MSME Navneet Sehgal said that export of produce like Banarsi mango, black rice from the Sidharthnagar belt and green chillies has gone up and Varanasi will become the hub for such exports.
To promote investments in the area, the government has offered special benefits under all its sectoral policies for units being set up in Bundelkhand and Purvanchal.
Under a special project, Gorakhpur is also being developed as garment hub. In addition to this, food processing units are also being promoted as the region has extensive farming of bananas and potatoes. To address the problem of water supply, the government will be extending the ‘Har Ghar Nal’ scheme to Purvanchal in the second phase of the programme by the middle of 2021.