LUCKNOW: In order to put Ayodhya prominently on the world tourist map, a roadmap for running a bullet train between Delhi and the temple town is ready and officials have already started the groundwork.
Besides, the Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport project has also been fast-tracked by acquiring 75 acres land for it and compensating the displaced farmers adequately.
Sources said the bullet train will cover the distance of over 670 km with a speed of 320 km per hour. Officials of the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) visited Ayodhya on Friday and finalised the land for the bullet train station.
As per official sources, the land for the station has been identified and finalised just in front of Shri Ram Chandra Airport coming up on the Lucknow–Gorakhpur bypass. The NHSRC has even applied for the ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) from the Airport Authority of India.
"As soon as the NOC is received, the work on the project will start. The plan is to connect the land of Lord Ram directly with the national capital," said a senior NHSRC official.
Ayodhya Development Authority Secretary RP Singh confirmed that land for the bullet train station was finalised by the NHSRC executive director Anoop Kumar Agarwal on Friday.
As per the detailed plan of the project, 941.5 km track will be laid down between Delhi and Varanasi via Agra-Lucknow-Prayagraj.
In order to include Ayodhya in this circuit, a separate link track of 130 km will be laid down between Lucknow and Ayodhya. The plan is for running two separate bullet trains — one between Delhi and Varanasi and the second between Delhi and Ayodhya.
The cost of the entire ambitious project of connecting Ayodhya and Varanasi with Delhi through high speed bullet trains is estimated to be Rs 200 lakh crore. The project envisages laying of tracks -- some overground, while stretches passing through big cities, including Lucknow and Agra, would be underground to mitigate traffic snarls.
NHSRC officials believe that the entire project could be brought on the ground in 7-8 years.
Meanwhile, the land for the international airport project has been acquired in eight villages including Janura, Ganja, Pura Hussain Khan, Dharampur Sahadat, Nandpur, Kushmaha, Firozpur and Sarethi in Ayodhya district.
On Friday, Ayodhya DM Anuj Jha handed over papers of plot and compensation to 75 farmers whose land was acquired for the project. As per the DM, the displaced farmers will get a house under PM housing scheme, a plot and monetary compensation for their land.
Moreover, the UP government has approved Rs 321 crore for purchasing additional land for the airport. The Centre had already sanctioned Rs 250 crore for the project. As per state government sources, Rs 1001.77 crore had been approved for the purchase of 555.66 acres of additional land for the project.