Work on Ayodhya airport begins

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has started the construction work of the Maryada Purshottam Shri Ram Airport in Ayodhya.

The bids for the construction work have been finalised and Bengaluru-based Vishal Infrastructure, which had bagged the bid for the construction of the runway, has started its work under the supervision of the AAI.

The AAI appointed project in-charge Rajeev Kulshreshtha and three other officials have taken charge.

Ayodhya airport, director, Lalji and two assistant general managers of the AAI have already been appointed.

According to AAI officials, the first phase of the project will be completed in around one-and-half to two years for which Rs 150 crore have been allocated.

In the first phase of the project, a 2,250-metre runway for ATR-72 aircraft has to be constructed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to lay the foundation stone of the project but due to the imposition of the model code of conduct for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls on January 8, the ceremony could not be held.

According to officials, the Ayodhya airport will be constructed in three phases, for which around 550 acres of land will be required.

Out of this, the existing airstrip and terminal in Ayodhya already account for 182 acres.

After the Centre sanctioned Rs 250 crore for the construction of the Ayodhya airport, the Uttar Pradesh government has approved Rs 321 crore to purchase the additional land.

A total amount of Rs 1,001.77 crore has been approved to purchase 555.66 acres of additional land for the construction of the airport.

A budgetary provision of Rs 101 crore has been proposed for the development work at the airport.

In November 2018, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced the development of the airstrip in Ayodhya for large aircraft such as A320 and B737 and the construction of a suitable runway and terminal building.

The airport project had been fast tracked by the state government, and the Ram Manohar Lohia Awadh University also approved a proposal to hand over its 23 acres of land last October.

Around 30 buildings on this land, including the Vice-Chancellor’s official residence, will also be handed over to the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation for the airport construction.

The Ayodhya airport is among several projects of the Centre and the state government that have been approved for temple town.

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