New Delhi: As part of an effort to promote Ayodhya as a tourist destination, a plan for a bullet train between Delhi and the temple town is being fast-tracked. Officials have already started laying the groundwork.
In addition to the Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport project, a bullet train project will also be part of the city’s infrastructure upgrade. By acquiring 75 acres of land for it and compensating the displaced farmers adequately, the international airport project has also been accelerated.
The central government plans to connect New Delhi with Varanasi and Prayagraj, two pilgrimage cities in Uttar Pradesh. An official from the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) met with district officials to finalise land for a bullet train station in Ayodhya, according to reports. The bullet train will cover a distance of more than 670 km at a speed of 320 – 350 km per hour. As per the detailed plan, a 941.5 km track will be built between Delhi and Varanasi via Agra-Lucknow-Prayagraj. In order to include Ayodhya in this circuit, a 130 km link track will be erected between Lucknow and Ayodhya.
Upon completion of NHSRCL’s work, Delhi will be connected to Lucknow, Pryagraj, Varanasi and Ayodhya. Bullet trains on the route will run at 320-350 km/hr. Separate rail tracks will be constructed between Lucknow and Ayodhya to connect Delhi with Ayodhya.
Ayodhya bullet train station land has also been allocated by the state government to NHSRC. NHSRC officials have also marked the area. According to Ayodhya development officials, the bullet train station will be built near the Maryada Purushottam Shree Ramchandra Airport, which is being constructed near the Lucknow-Gorakhpur highway bypass. There are reports that NHSRC has even applied for a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) from the Airport Authority of India. As soon as the NOC is received, the project will start, according to a senior NHSRC official. The plan is to connect the land of Lord Ram directly to Delhi.
There will be two pairs of bullet trains on the route: one between New Delhi and Ayodhya and another between New Delhi and Varanasi. The total cost of connecting Ayodhya, Varanasi and Delhi by high-speed bullet trains is estimated at Rs 200 lakh crore.
In the meantime, the land for Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport has been acquired in eight villages including Janura, Ganja, Pura Hussain Khan, Dharampur Sahadat, Nandpur, Kushmaha, Firozpur and Sarethi in Ayodhya district. Ayodhya DM Anuj Jha handed over plot and compensation papers to 75 farmers whose land was acquired for the project on Friday. As per the DM, displaced farmers will receive a house under the PM housing scheme, a plot, and monetary compensation for their land.