In what can be called a really grand opening, eight Indian Air Force Fighter jets landed on the new Agra-Lucknow Expressway in Unnao, UP. It was the formal opening of the highway, which is being touted as the longest expressway in India.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh inaugurated the 305 Km long road, named Unnao expressway, in the presence of son and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav as well as, Shivpal Yadav and other SP leaders. The road runs between Agra and Lucknow, and was completed in a record 23 months.
The expressway includes 6 lanes (number of lanes may be increased to eight), and is built over an area of 3,500 hectares. According a report in Indian Express, the new road reduces drive time between Delhi-Lucknow by almost 2-3 hours.
The expressway is also intended to be used as a makeshift runway during warlike-emergencies in case other military airfields and bases are unavailable, Scroll reported.
Aerial shot taken yesterday of Unnao - Kannauj stretch of the Agra Lucknow expressway. Excellent progress. pic.twitter.com/Scj4fKx18C— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) March 29, 2016
The fighter planes (Sukhois and Mirage 2000s) had been practicing landing on the road for a while. One of the aircrafts, a Sukhoi jet, and incidentally the first to perform, took two attempts to land since an animal strayed into its landing path on its first landing attempt, NDTV reported.
Uttar Pradesh is all set for state elections next year and the ruling party was allegedly in a hurry to inaugurate the road before the elections.
Rs 13,200 crore was spent on the expressway, which is being touted as CM Akhilesh's dream project.
Watch one of the Mirage 2000 aircrafts land in the video below:
The landing-stunt is part of efforts to increase the number of highways that can be easily used as landing strips for Air Force aircrafts started last year when IAF successfully landed a French Dassault Mirage-2000 fighter jet on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura in what was a first show of Indian military aviation, Times of India reported.
Feature Image Source: PTI