UP Budget Session: Nod to name Ayodhya airport after Ram

A resolution was tabled a day after Rs 101 crore was proposed for the airport in the annual state budget along with other development projects for Ayodhya that included beautification of the temple town.

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution to name the airport in Ayodhya as “Maryada Purushottam Sriram Airport”, citing the importance of Ayodhya as an “equivalent to heaven according to Atharva Ved”.

The resolution was tabled a day after Rs 101 crore was proposed for the airport in the annual state budget along with other development projects for Ayodhya that included beautification of the temple town.

The resolution, which was tabled by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna, cited that in “Atharva Ved”, Ayodhya has been regarded as the “city of God “and is considered equivalent to “swarga (heaven)”.

It further said that as per Ramayana, Ayodhya was established by Manu and for centuries, it was regarded as the capital of “Surya Vansh”.

“Ayodhya is a pilgrimage site and is basically the city of temples. Even today, there are remains associated with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. And as per Jain religion, five “Teerthankars”, including Adinath, were born in Ayodhya,” the resolution said.

It said that Ayodhya is a “pious land “and its association with Ram dates back to ages. “Because of it being the birthplace of Ram, Ayodhya is popular in ancient literature as well as in Indian history… Ganga bari Godavari, Teerath Bado Prayag, Sabse bari Ayodhyanagar, Jahan Ram Liyo Avatar,” the resolution said, listing ancient temples in the town such as Sita Rasoi, Hanuman Gari as well as those built in the 18th and 19th centuries like Kanak Bhawan, Nageshwarnath and Darshan Singh temple.

Stating that during the annual fair, lakhs of tourists come to the temple town from across the country as well as world, and following the Supreme Court verdict a grand Ram temple is being constructed, it was necessary to develop the existing airstrip at Ayodhya airport for landing of bigger aircraft, it said.

With both the Central and UP governments hoping to make Ayodhya an international tourism hub after the work on the Ram Temple was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, the state has started work on a detailed development plan for the town with an International Airport at the top of its agenda. The state has already approved over Rs 600 crore for the construction of the airport. Though in 2014 an MOU was signed with the Airports Authority of India for up-gradation 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. The target is to start the first phase of what will be an International Airport project by end of 2021.

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