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The Allahabad High Court Friday upheld the validity of land acquisition notification for setting up the Yamuna Expressway, allowing the state government to go ahead with the ambitious project.

The court observed that the land acquisition proceedings adopted for the project cannot be termed as illegal or unlawful, officials said.

A division bench comprising Justices S.K. Singh and Shabibul Hasnain dismissed the writ petition filed by Balveer Singh and others for quashing the notification issued for acquiring the land for the project, the officials added.

The 160-km long expressway passing through the districts of Gautam Buddha Nagar, Aligarh, Mahamaya Nagar (Hathras), Mathura and Agra will come up on land belonging to 115 village panchayats and will cut down travel time between Delhi and Agra by at least one hour.

According to officials, while one stretch of the project is expected to be ready by 2010, work on the remaining stretch, along with the toll plazas and the development parcels running along the stretch of the expressway, is expected to be completed by 2011.

A total of 2,500 hectares is to be acquired for the development parcels – 500 hectares each in Noida, Aligarh and Agra and 1,000 hectares in Gautam Buddha Nagar, they added.

The state government had issued a notification on August 22, 2001, for the constructions of the Taj Expressway which was later on renamed the Yamuna Expressway.

The purpose and object of the project was to make up for the absence of a major highway on the eastern side of Yamuna in the state, resulting in longer travel time as well as inconvenience to road users.

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