Ayodhya to get a major makeover with river-front development, other special features

Ayodhya to get a major makeover with river-front development, other special features

The Yogi Adityanath-led government Monday presented Rs 5,50,270.78 crore budget for 2021-22 in the State Assembly.

With the Assembly election a year away, the budget includes new schemes of Rs 27,598 crore. In the state Budget, Rs 101 crore has been allotted for the construction of Maryada Purushottam Shriram Airport in Ayodhya. A total of Rs 2,000 crore have been allotted for the construction of airports at Jewar, Chitrakoot, and Sonbhadra.

Rs 1,107 crore allotted for the construction of Purvanchal Expressway, Rs 1492 crore for Bundelkhand Expressway, Rs 750 crore for Gorakhpur Expressway, 2000 crore for development of Jewar expressway, 7200 crores for Ganga Expressway. Rs 100 crore package for Bundelkhand, Rs 5,000 crores for PM Rural Road scheme have been allocated. Rs 597 crore has been allotted for Kanpur metro and Rs 100 crore for Gorakhpur and Varanasi metro.

Note that the construction of Maryada Purushottam Shriram Airport is not the only development that is coming up in Ayodhya. Ayodhya is set to get a major makeover in the coming years. UP government’s mega Ayodhya development plan includes setting up a 1,200-acre new “model future city” based on Vedic city planning principles, as per the bid document floated by the government last year.

The new greenfield city will be developed keeping religious and tourism aspects in mind. The rejuvenation plan of Ayodhya would be to develop it as a holy city for Hindus as the Vatican is for Catholics. “Planning principles, urban forms, buildings, and landscape should follow Vedic Ramayana and Vedic architecture,” said the tender floated for selection of a consultant to prepare the vision, implementation strategy, and integrated infrastructure plan for Ayodhya.

Delhi-based CP Kukreja Architects, Canada-based Lea Associates, and L&T – are selected to chalk out a master blueprint for Ayodhya. These firms were asked to create a blueprint of town planning, transport, traffic, infrastructure, finance, economy, heritage, tourism, urban design, and renewable resources, said Vishal Singh, vice-chairman of the Ayodhya Development Authority earlier.

The plans outlined by C P Kukreja Architects along with LEA Associates South Asia and L&T present an integrated infrastructure plan. “City of Ayodhya has deep significance and sentiments attached with it. We intend to transform Ayodhya into a world-class city amplifying its historic and religious values while preserving the tranquillity and spirituality aspect,” Dikshu C Kukreja, managing principal of the architecture firm, was quoted in a TOI report saying.

As per the national daily report, the detailed plan for the city, including the existing one covering 875 sq km and the proposed greenfield city, is to be ready in the next six months but its vision and certain features have been identified.

The plan aims at leveraging tourism as an engine of growth in a city that has become congested over the years. Kukreja told the publication that the master plan of Ayodhya will have a huge focus on retaining the heritage of the city and the plan will be developed around this concept.

“We will see how the city can become the hub of traditional healthcare facilities, Vedic education, and other cultural activities,” Kukreja further added. As per the initial plan, the city will not have regular zoning. The planners refer to case studies of best “experiential” international cities such as Vatican City and Venice, and Indian examples such as Amritsar, Varanasi, Madurai, and Tirupati.

The publication further quoted Kukreja saying that there will be a huge focus on heritage assets of the city, which will include retrofitting and redevelopment of the core city area and temple influence zone. There will be special attention to the Shri Ram Mandir area of 108 acres for seamless integration.

The plan will reportedly also include curating tourism experience for heritage and other areas of interest such as public places and events, riverfront development of Saryu river and water sports, and three developing Parikrama Margs (5,14,84 Kosi) with adequate facilities.

As per the tender document, the development plan will be prepared for 30 years with a focus on retaining the heritage of the core city, development of the riverfront and parikrama marga for pilgrims, and infrastructure augmentation besides facilities for recreational activities. The construction of the Ram Mandir is likely to be completed in 2023.

“The aim of this exercise is to prepare a neighborhood plan/ detailed spatial plan for developing a greenfield integrated township of 1,200 acres, as part of the proposed development of new Ayodhya, to develop as a model future city taking into account the best international practices for development, implementation, maintenance, and management,” the tender document said.

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