Ayodhya to get international airport; UAE supermarket giant Lulu set to open mall; Tatas eye hotels



The city of Ayodhya, the birthplace of the Hindu God Ram, will get an international airport on December 30. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to inaugurate the airport which will link major Indian cities to Ayodhya and eventually many global destinations. A successful trial flight was conducted on December 23 by an Indian Air Force plane.

Indigo Airlines will operate the inaugural flight Delhi- Ayodhya flight on December 30. This is part of the grand preparations for the opening of the Ram Mandir which will be inaugurated next year. Economic activity in the city is expected to peak once the temple opens to the public.

The price of land in Ayodhya has shot up and it is learnt that many investors like Radisson and the UAE’s LuLu group, along with the Tata group and Oberois, are eyeing properties in the city which can be converted into hotels and supermarkets as pilgrims are expected to travel here in large numbers to offer prayers at the temple.

The Ayodhya airport, named Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport, is located on the outskirts of the city. Indigo said it will offer flights to major cities such as Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Goa starting January 6, 2024.

Air India Express, a subsidiary of Tata group’s Air India, plans services to Ayodhya. Air India Express will start its daily scheduled services from January 16, 2024. The airline will also connect Ayodhya to other destinations such as Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Kochi, Guwahati, Goa, Gwalior, Jaipur, Pune, Surat, Srinagar, and Sharjah.

The city of Ayodhya is gearing up for an influx of tourists and travellers from India and abroad as the consecration ceremony of the Ram idol is expected to take place on January 22, 2024. Religious tourism is expected to increase in the city.

The Ayodhya airport is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore. With the Ayodhya airport, Uttar Pradesh (UP) will become the only state in India to have five international airports. The airport is being constructed in two phases. The first phase will have a runway of 2200 sq metres on which aircraft like Boeing 737, Airbus 319, 320 and smaller planes can land and take off. Plans are to operate two to three flights per hour. The second phase will see a runway of 3,700 metres for wide-bodied aircraft like the B787, 777 and A350 for international flights.

The construction of the Ram Temple was a national campaign pledge made by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to its voters many years ago, and the inauguration in January is expected to power the party to victory in general elections next year. Ayodhya is located at the heart of India’s Hindi belt and also a State which is crucial in deciding who wins national elections. So, while Ayodhya airport will drive economic activity and foreign investment in the state, it will also ensure the BJP gets a third term at the Centre.  – The writer is Executive Editor of Nrifocus.com


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