New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): In a significant move aimed at bolstering connectivity to Ayodhya, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has proposed a comprehensive plan for the construction of a 68-kilometer greenfield bypass in Ayodhya and its surrounding areas. The ambitious project, with an estimated investment of Rs 3,570 crore, has garnered special approval from the Centre, indicating its strategic importance.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has initiated the process by inviting bids for a 4/6 lane highway that will traverse through Lucknow, Basti, and Gonda districts, constituting the North Ayodhya and South Ayodhya bypass. The primary objective of this infrastructure undertaking is to cater to the anticipated surge in passenger and freight vehicle movement following the inauguration of the Ram temple. Current estimates project a substantial increase in daily traffic, soaring from the existing 89,023 vehicles to a staggering 2.17 lakh vehicles by 2033.
To expedite the construction process and ensure optimal utilization of resources, the project will be executed through a public-private partnership (PPP) mode. This approach not only aligns with efficient project management practices but also facilitates the infusion of private sector expertise and investment.
The road ministry encountered challenges in the approval process, given the Finance Ministry's caution against launching new projects under Bharatmala at present. Additionally, due to the project's cost exceeding Rs 1,000 crore, the ministry sought approval from an apex committee specializing in evaluating PPP projects. The NHAI is committed to completing the construction within a timeline of two-and-a-half years, emphasizing the urgency and significance of the project.
This infrastructure initiative is part of a broader vision by the Uttar Pradesh government to transform Ayodhya into an economic and tourism hub. The state government has earmarked a substantial investment of Rs 85,000 crore for this purpose, aligning with the Master Plan 2031. This decade-long redevelopment plan places a strong emphasis on enhancing infrastructure and promoting tourism.
In conjunction with the road bypass project, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Uttar Pradesh government's public works department are overseeing projects worth Rs 10,000 crore and Rs 7,500 crore, respectively. Notable among these is the redevelopment of Ayodhya Dham Railway Station, which is undergoing a modernization process for Rs 430 crore. The recently inaugurated Maharishi Valmiki International Airport, with an investment of Rs 328 crore, is set to become a pivotal gateway for travelers, further enhancing Ayodhya's connectivity.
The Rs 3,600 crore plan underscores a comprehensive effort to enhance infrastructure, accommodate increasing traffic, and propel Ayodhya into a thriving economic and tourism center.