New Delhi: Now, you can drive from Delhi to the Taj Mahal in a little over two hours.
Here are 10 big facts on the new Yamuna Expressway:
- The expressway links Greater Noida to Agra. It was inaugurated via video conference from Lucknow by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
- The six-lane expressway covers 165 kms. It reduces the travel time between the capital and Agra by nearly four hours. (Watch: Your guide to the new Yamuna Expressway)
- The project cost 12,000 crores. It has three toll plazas and opened to the public at 4 pm.
- Till August 15, no toll will be collected - happy Independence Day, commuters! After that, cars will pay Rs 320 for a one-way trip, two-wheelers will be charged Rs 150.
- The speed limit is 100 kilometres per hour.
- The project was begun by former Chief Minister Mayawati, who was voted out in May this year. "The board outside will have our name... now how do we help that?" said Mr Yadav, a cheeky statement acknowledging that his government will get the credit for a major new project that it had very little to do with.
- He'll have to take the criticism too. Farmers near Mathura protested today, demanding that their villages be given easier and toll-free access to the highway.
- The RLD, which is the party headed by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, says it supports the farmers' demands, and will mobilise more protests. RLD MP Jayant Chaudhary said that service lanes meant for the movement of local farmers had not been built
- The process of acquiring land from farmers for the expressway spiralled into violence last year in the Bhatta-Parsaul villages of Greater Noida.
- Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited the epicentre of the tension, defying police orders, to talk to farmers. He also began a padayatra or march which culminated in a massive gathering of farmers and the heads of different panchayats in Aligarh.
Story First Published: August 09, 2012 15:11 IST