The Uttar Pradesh government, on Thursday, signed a lease agreement with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) regarding transfer of 317.855 acres to the latter on lease for the Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport in Ayodhya.
The lease agreement was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
A total of 317.855 acres of land for the airport project has been procured by the state government.
With both the Central and Uttar Pradesh governments hoping to make Ayodhya an international tourism hub after the work on the Ram Temple has already started, the international airport is an ambitious project in that direction to boost tourism and provide air-connectivity to adjoining areas.
According to the official spokesman, although an MoU was signed in 2014 with the AAI for upgrade of the existing airport, the project could not take off.
In 2019, the state government got a feasibility study conducted on the 178-acre area used for flying club activities and non-scheduled flights by small aircraft.
Speaking on the occasion, Adityanath said that it was a moment of pride that the holy city of Ayodhya had taken a step forward in achieving air connectivity. He said that it was all the more significant that the agreement had been signed during Navratri.
He said that the remaining 86 acres land would be acquired within the next two to three months.
The chief minister said that the during the past five years, Uttar Pradesh had taken giant strides in expanding the air connectivity network in the state.
He said that the state had only two fully functional airports in Lucknow and Varanasi, but today, the state has nine functional airports. Besides, the work is on for the Jewar international airport.
Last week, on his first visit to Ayodhya after becoming the chief minister for the second term, Adityanath had visited the Ram Temple site and reviewed the construction progress.
He had also instructed the municipal corporation to stop the collection of house and water taxes at commercial rates from ‘mutths’, temples and dharamshalas, and instead explore the option of charging some ‘token money’.