Eight fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will touch down on India’s longest expressway as it opens to the public in Uttar Pradesh on Monday.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will open the Agra-Lucknow Expressway at Unnao, around 50 km from Lucknow.
Four Sukhoi jets will fly down from Bareilly and four Mirage 2000s from Gwalior and skim the six-lane highway in simulated landings, a first for any road launch.
On Friday, a fighter jet practised on a 3.3 km stretch of the highway marked for landings as part of a Defence Ministry plan for emergencies when military air fields are not available.
A bureaucrat who witnessed the jet landing was injured in a car crash on the brand new highway. Hours before the accident, the Chief Minister, who had recently taken a ride with his family on the expressway, had warned against speeding on it. “I request you to drive on the expressway with caution and not exceed a speed limit of 100 km an hour,” he had said.
Watch the IAF fighter plans practise for the road launch :
The 302 km Greenfield expressway was completed in a record 23 months. It will offer a direct link to the Taj Mahal town of Agra from the Yamuna Expressway.
A dream project of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, the 302-km expressway, has been completed in a record time of 22 months with a cost of Rs 13,200 crore. It dots Firozabad, Shikohabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Kannauj and Mohanlalganj.
Officials say it will have an automatic traffic management system to deal with fog and reduce road accidents. It also features an eight-lane bridge across the river Ganga, which will connect Unnao and Kanpur.