Senior IAS officer and Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary (Information) Navneet Sahgal, and four others, were today injured in a car accident at Unnao on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, days ahead of its inauguration.
The mishap occurred when Sahgal was returning after an air show by the Indian Air Force in Bangarmau, police said.
They said Sahgal’s official car collided with a private car between Atiya and Inayatpur villages, under Auras police station area.
The officer has suffered head injuries and has been rushed to the Trauma Centre at KGMU here, along with his driver, gunner, and two others who were in the private car, they said.
A 1988-batch IAS officer, Sahgal is also Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA).
Hours before the accident, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had warned against driving at high speed on the state-of-the-art road.
“I request you to drive on the expressway with caution and not exceed a speed limit of 100 kmph,” he had said after a Cabinet meeting earlier in the day.
Akhilesh is scheduled to inaugurate the 302-km six-lane expressway - his dream project and the longest expressway in the country- on November 21.
It has been constructed by the UPEIDA to reduce traffic on congested roads and bring down pollution and carbon footprint. It has been completed in a record 22 months.
A three-km long stretch on the expressway can double as runway and be used by jets for landing and take-off.
Unlike other expressway inaugurations, as many as 11 IAF jets are likely to land and take off from the expressway during the inaugural show.
The exercise is aimed at testing the quality of build of the expressway and would also go a long way in aiding Defence Ministry’s plan to use highways and expressways as possible landing and take-off strips during any emergency.
The Chief Minister had recently taken a ride with his family members after the expressway was opened for him for his journey to his native village Saifai in Etawah.