In December 2015, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav expressed his desire to make a cycle track from Taj Mahal, Agra to Lion Safari, Etawah. This was an attempt to make the people more aware of eco-tourism and to give them a chance to enjoy nature at its best in the heartland of India. And fulfilling his promises, like always, the young CM, along with the cabinet, has finalized the 197 km Agra-Etawah Cycle Highway. He said, “Tracks will be made wherever we find space alongside Yamuna and Chambal safaris. This way the tourists, cyclists and environmentalists will get a chance to see gharials, dolphins and a wide variety of birds.”
Uttar Pradesh’s first cycle highway will be 2.5 metre wide and would be equipped with solar lighting system which will light up automatically after the sunset. The path will cross water bodies, canals, gardens, and historical sites. Along with this, adequate shade will be provided along the way so that cyclists do not have a hard time during the summers.
“It will be a major attraction for tourists who visit Taj Mahal. The track will take off near Taj Mahal’s east gate and pass through historical sites like Raja Bhoj ki Haveli, Bateshwar Shiva temples, Sauripur Jain temples, Jarar Chambal Safari, Nand Gaon and terminate at Etawah Lion Safari,” said Masarrat Noor Khan who is the PWD Chief Engineer. Rs. 94 crore has been sanctioned for the project. The exact route is being drawn for this cement concrete road and would not require any land acquisitions.
To ensure the safety of the cyclists, the tracks will not cross any high traffic areas but will provide connectivity to lesser known places and unexplored areas in Uttar Pradesh. Development projects like these will definitely boost eco-tourism in the state and will ensure the well being of people and the environment.