Noida: Crossing its last hurdle, JP Group on Friday received approval from the Central government to continue the construction of the Yamuna Expressway (Taj Expressway) on the condition of following some environmental clauses. Last week, the group had given assurance to the government for completion of the project by 2011.

The expressway, which will connect Greater Noida-Agra, will enable traffic to cover 165km in just 90 minutes. It will cross through cities like Gautambudh Nagar, Aligarh, Mathura, Mahamaya Nagar and Agra.

According to sources, the problem in construction process is the 9.1365 hectare of forest region. So the JP will have to face some tough guidelines while building the expressway.

Following the guidelines, if forests are destroyed, similar proportion of forest cover has to be developed in nearby districts especially in Taj Trapezium area. The construction company has also to bear the costs of its maintenance till 5 years.

The plantation area will be demarcated from all sides. The Group has to plant trees on both sides of the divider and take care of them for 18 years. In addition, it will also provide kerosene and LPG to the workers in order to prevent any harm to the planted trees and nearby forest cover.

The clause also states that all information regarding the project and its activities will be submitted at Lucknow-based Ministry of Environment and Forests department. “The report of the maintenance has to be submitted to the concerned officer within 6 months at the regional office of the Environment Ministry”, the statement said.

Later, within six months the land will be transferred to the forest department and remain protected under the Indian Forests Act, 1927. However, if the company fails to fulfill its obligations under the given period, the contract will be considered void automatically.

Notably, the BSP government in 2003 gave approval to the JP Group to construct the Taj Expressway, which was delayed due to the change of government. Later, in 2007 with the return of Mayawati in power, construction work commenced again.

JPN/Bureau