NEW DELHI: In what can be seen as the Narendra Modi government’s major Hindutva push ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari will lay the foundation stones for five national highway projects in Ayodhya on Friday that will improve connectivity between the holy towns of Ayodhya, Prayagraj, Kashi (Varanasi) and Chitrakoot.
These projects will also include Ram Vangaman Marg and Ayodhya’s 84-Kosi Parikrama.The highways will have a combined length of 632 km while the total estimated cost of construction is Rs 7,195 crore a statement by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways revealed.
The projects are aimed at providing better connectivity and facilities to tourists and pilgrims who come to these cities. These projects will also establish direct connectivity from Ayodhya to another important Vaishnavite pilgrim centre, Chitrakoot, where Lord Ram is said to have spent more than 11 years of his 14-year exile.
The Ring Road around Ayodhya will reduce traffic congestion and pollution levels. The projects also include beautification of Ayodhya section of the Lucknow-Ayodhya highway at a cost of Rs 55 crore and four-laning of Ayodhya-Akbarpur section of the Ayodhya-Varanasi highway at a cost of Rs 1,081 crore.
While construction of the 46-km four-lane Ayodhya Ring Road is estimated to cost Rs 1,289 crore, the construction of 44-km Mohanganj-Shringverpur section of the Ram Vangaman Marg will cost Rs 478 crore. The construction of the 91-km Bikapur-Rudauli-Murtihanghat section of Kosi Parikrama Marg will cost Rs 896 crore.