With the Supreme Court delivering its much-awaited verdict in the Ayodhya title suit and clearing the decks for the Lord Ram temple, the historic development is likely to accelerate two other big projects in the temple town.
In fact, the state has already announced that plans to acquire more than 285 acres for Ayodhya airport, which will be named after Lord Ram, who, according to Hindu legend, is believed to have been born in the temple town.
So far, the state has released Rs 400 crore towards land acquisition. Under the project, the existing airstrip in Ayodhya would be redeveloped to handle larger aircraft. While the project spans about 465 acres, the airstrip alone occupies 180 acres, with the remaining 285 acres proposed to be acquired.
The existing airstrip, 1.5 km long and 30 meters wide, is fit only for small planes. It would need to be 45 meters wide with a runway of 2.5 km to handle wide-bodied flights. The project is aimed at putting Ayodhya on the national and international tourism network and boosting the local socioeconomic matrix.
In February 2019, the state cabinet had cleared the proposal of investing Rs 640 crore on the airport project and authorised the district magistrate to acquire land on mutual agreement basis.
Meanwhile, the state government has also started the process of acquiring land for the proposed 221 metres Lord Ram statue, touted to be the world’s tallest and 38 metres taller than the current tallest ‘Statue of Unity’ in Gujarat dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Land belonging to nearly 200 individuals and organisations would be acquired for the mega project. “The process of land acquisition for the project has started. We plan to begin the construction of the proposed statue within the next 12 months,” UP tourism principal secretary Awanish Awasthi had earlier told Business Standard.
On November 1, the Adityanath cabinet had cleared the proposal worth Rs 447 crore for the acquisition of 61 hectares (150 acres) towards a bouquet of tourism projects in Ayodhya inspired by the Sardar Patel’s statue in Gujarat. The proposed projects include Lord Ram statue, digital museum, interpretation centre, library, parking, food plaza, landscaping and other basic infrastructure facilities.
Besides, the cabinet also cleared the proposal of releasing Rs 200 crore towards soil testing, wind tunnel test, design development, detailed project report (DPR) preparation etc.
In November 2018, the CM had selected the final design for the proposed bronze statue. While, the statue of Lord Ram, measuring 151 metres, would stand atop a 50 metre pedestal, a decorated umbrella hood of 20 metres would cover the statue. The proposed statue depicts Lord Ram holding a metal bow and arrow in his left and right arms respectively.
The pedestal would comprise a museum to narrate the history of Ayodhya and its association with mythical pantheons, including Lord Ram, as mentioned in the Hindu text of Ramayan.
Soon after coming to power in March 2017, the state government had exhibited its priority for Ayodhya is many ways, including changing the name of Faizabad district to Ayodhya and upgrading local municipal council to Ayodhya municipal corporation.