Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday announced Ganga Expressway, the Rs 36,000 crore mega project, which will connect Prayagraj with western part of the state. Billed as the biggest expressway in the world, it will be a four-lane greenfield expressway, which can extend up to six lanes. The 600-km-long Ganga Expressway will be built along the banks of the river, which is called as soul of India. The announcement came after Yogi Adityanath held Cabinet meeting on the banks of Sangam in ongoing Kumbh Mela today. The meeting started at 11 am.
After the meeting, Adityanath along with his council of ministers will visit Akshayvat and Saraswati Koop. The Yogi Cabinet will also take a holy dip in Ganga. Later, Yogi Adityanath along with 24 ministers will watch the Vicky Kaushal-starrer Uri at a special screening in a mobile theatre on Kumbha Mela site.
Ardh Kumbh is held in every six years, while the Kumbh Mela comes after 12 years. The Yogi Adityanath government has renamed Ardh Kumbh as Kumbh and the Kumbh as Maha Kumbh. The mela draws tens of millions of pilgrims over the course of approximately 48 days to bathe at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati river. The congregation includes Ascetics, Saints, Sadhus, Sadhvis, Kalpvasis and pilgrims from all walks of life. In all there are six auspicious bathing dates in this Kumbh - Makar Sankranti (January 15), Paush Poornima (January 21), Mauni Amawasya (February 4), Basant Panchami (February 10), Maghi Poornima (February 19) and Mahashivratri (March 4).
According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, the mega Kumbh Mela is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh Although the Kumbh Mela is spiritual and religious in nature, the economic activities associated with it generate employment for over six lakh workers across various sectors, CII said in a report. The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated Rs 4,200 crore for the 50-day Kumbh Mela this time, which is over thrice the budget of the Maha Kumbh in 2013, making the mega pilgrimage perhaps the costliest ever. The hospitality sector aims at employing 2,50,000 people, airlines and airports around 1,50,000 and tour operators around 45,000. The employment numbers in eco-tourism and medical tourism are being estimated at 85,000, says a CII study.