Close on the heels of the Supreme Court delivering its verdict in the Ayodhya title suit, the Yogi Adityanath government has started scouting for land to set up a 200 room star hotel in the temple town.
The hotel project is among the slew of big infrastructure and tourism projects proposed by the government to develop the sleepy Hindu religious centre as a modern tourist hotspot.
UP tourism minister Neelkanth Tiwari recently directed departmental officials to identify suitable land in Ayodhya for the hotel project and forward the proposal to the headquarters for further action.
In fact, the tourism department is working on a roadmap to ramp up its hotels network in all the major towns, equipped with all modern amenities, including ticketing.
Apart from the hotel project, the Adityanath government is working on three mega initiatives in the temple town -- Ayodhya airport, world’s tallest Lord Ram statue and ‘New Ayodhya’ township. In 2016, nearly 20 million tourists and pilgrims, including 150,000 foreigners had visited Ayodhya.
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. The state will acquire 285 acres for the airport project, proposed to be named after Lord Ram, whose birth place is Ayodhya according to Hindu legends.
Under the airport project, the existing Ayodhya airstrip would be redeveloped to handle larger planes. While the entire project spans 465 acres, the airstrip occupies 180 acres, while the remaining 285 acres is proposed to be acquired. The existing airstrip, 1.5 km long and 30 meters wide, can handle only small planes. It needs to be 45 meters wide with a runway of 2.5 km to handle wide-bodied flights.
Besides, the government has started the process of acquiring land for the proposed 221-metre Lord Ram statue, touted to be the world’s tallest and 38 metres taller than current record-holder, the ‘Statue of Unity’ in Gujarat dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
On November 1, the Adityanath cabinet had cleared a proposal worth Rs 447 crore for the acquisition of 61 hectares (150 acres) for a bouquet of tourism projects in Ayodhya, inspired by the Sardar Patel’s statue in Gujarat. The cabinet had also cleared a proposal of release Rs 200 crore for soil testing, wind tunnel test, design development and detailed project report (DPR) preparation, among other things.
Meanwhile, the government has also mooted a ‘New Ayodhya’ project spanning 500 acres. It would come up on the banks of the Saryu river and developed in phases. The township would have residential areas, temples, public spaces, parks, luxury hotels, and shopping arcades.