In what comes as a big boost to the development of Ayodhya, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation had approved the state proposal to develop an international airport in Ayodhya. According to reports, the union government sanctioned Rs 250 crore for the operation of ATR-72 aircraft in the first phase.
Speaking to the media, Yogi Adityanath said that about Rs 1,000 crores have been allocated to the district administration for land acquisition for the airport out of which the Central government has disbursed Rs 250 crores.
The development comes within days of the Yogi Adityanath government allocating Rs 101 crore for the construction of the International airport in Ayodhya in its recently unveiled state budget.
The Uttar Pradesh government has named the Ayodhya International airport the ‘Maryada Purushottam Sriram Airport’.
According to reports, the BJP government in the state has already given Rs 625 crore for the acquisition of land for the project. It has also cleared the decks for the purchase of 555.66 acres of land in addition to 377 acres already in possession of Ayodhya airport, for which the state govt is willing to shell out a sum of Rs three hundred and twenty-one crore ninety-nine lakh fifty thousand seven hundred and twenty. Apart from this, a separate provision of Rs 100 crores has been made for the Ayodhya Airport in the next financial year 2021-22.
CM Yogi Adityanath had announced on November 6, 2018, that airstrip for large aircraft like A-320 and B-737 will be developed and along with a suitable runway and terminal building. It was decided that the airport would be developed for Code-E B777-300 type of aircraft with the aim of developing an international airport in Ayodhya.
The state government proposes to develop the existing airstrip through State construction and designed services (UP Jal Board) under regional connectivity scheme (RCS)-UDAN.
It is pertinent to note here that the existing airstrip is just over 1.5 km long and 30 meters, barely suitable enough to allow the landing of a nine-seater aircraft. For bigger aircraft, the airstrip needs to have a width of 45 meters and a length of 2.5 km. Besides, it should also have at least 100-150 meters set-off area on either side of the runway.
The development of an airport in Ayodhya was conceptualized during the UPA regime. In 2013-14, the AAI had sought 251 acres of land for the project.
This was followed by a memorandum of understanding between the previous SP government and the AAI. However, the project did not make much headway.
Now, the construction work of the International airport in Ayodhya is being carried out on war footing. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is personally monitoring the progress of the airport project, as well as other developmental projects in the holy city. According to official sources, the Yogi Adityanath government has set the December 2021 deadline for completion of the airport.