(News Trust of India) : The holy city of Ayodhya is buzzing with anticipation as it prepares for a momentous occasion: the Pran Pratishtha ceremony marking the consecration of the iconic Ram Mandir. Scheduled for January 22nd, this event promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for devotees and dignitaries alike. Adding to the grandeur, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced that 100 chartered planes are expected to land at the newly inaugurated Ayodhya Airport on that auspicious day.
This influx of VIPs and devotees underscores the significance of the ceremony and the transformative journey Ayodhya has undergone in recent years. From a sleepy temple town to a burgeoning pilgrimage destination, Ayodhya is witnessing a remarkable infrastructure renaissance, fueled by the fervor surrounding the Ram Mandir construction.
A Gateway to Divinity: Ayodhya Airport Takes Flight
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration of the Ayodhya Airport on December 30th, 2023, marked a pivotal moment. This state-of-the-art facility, christened the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport, boasts a passenger capacity of 10 lakh in its first phase, poised to expand to 60 lakh after the second phase completion. Built at a cost exceeding ₹1,450 crore, the airport is a testament to the government’s commitment to developing Ayodhya as a premier spiritual and tourist destination.
The first tri-weekly flights between Ahmedabad and Ayodhya, launched virtually by Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, mark the beginning of a new era of aerial connectivity for the city. This direct link further bolsters Ayodhya’s accessibility, making it easily reachable for devotees from across India and beyond.
Expansion Plans Take Off: More Airports on the Horizon
Uttar Pradesh’s vision for Ayodhya extends beyond a single airport. In a testament to the state’s dedication to holistic development, Chief Minister Adityanath has announced the inauguration of five new airports by next year: Azamgarh, Aligarh, Moradabad, Shravasti, and Chitrakoot. This ambitious expansion plan will further strengthen Ayodhya’s position as a central hub, radiating connectivity and progress to neighboring regions.
Furthermore, the upcoming Jewar International Airport is slated to be operational by the end of this year, adding another jewel to the state’s crown. This constellation of airports will not only cater to the influx of pilgrims and tourists but also unlock immense economic potential for Ayodhya and its surrounding areas.
Securing the Sojourn: A Multi-Pronged Approach to Safety
As Ayodhya prepares for the grand ceremony, security remains a top priority. The Uttar Pradesh government has implemented a comprehensive plan encompassing robust security and traffic management measures.
- Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS): 1500 public CCTV cameras across the city are integrated with ITMS, enabling real-time surveillance and swift response to any contingencies.
- Enhanced Surveillance in Key Areas: Ayodhya’s yellow zone will be equipped with 10,715 AI-based cameras featuring facial recognition technology, seamlessly integrated with ITMS and monitored from a central control room.
- Emergency Response Teams Deployed: National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams are on standby to address any emergencies. Regular boat patrols and strict safety protocols will be enforced on the Saryu River.
- Heightened Security at Ayodhya Railway Station: The Railway Protection Force will be deployed from January 27th to February 15th to ensure passenger safety and crowd control.
- Fire Brigade Provisions and Police Patrolling: Adequate fire brigade personnel and equipment are stationed across tent cities, and comprehensive police patrolling will cover the entire city.
- Anti-Drone System: To counter potential aerial threats, a robust Anti-Drone System, overseen by the Special Security Force (SSF), will be in operation.
These meticulous measures ensure a safe and secure environment for devotees and dignitaries during the momentous occasion.
Beyond the Ceremony: A New Dawn for Ayodhya
The Ram Mandir’s ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony is not merely a religious event; it signifies the culmination of a long-cherished dream and the dawn of a new era for Ayodhya. The city is transforming into a vibrant spiritual and cultural hub, attracting pilgrims and tourists from all corners of the globe.