Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Maharshi Valmiki airport and the redeveloped Ayodhya railway station, from which he flagged off two Amrit Bharat and six Vande Bharat trains, some virtually.
This visit by the prime minister comes weeks ahead of the ‘pran pratishtha’ or consecration ceremony of the Ram temple here. The temple is currently under construction, with the ceremony to be held on January 22, which will be attended by the prime minister. He also inaugurated, dedicated to the nation and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 15,700 crore.
These comprise projects worth about Rs 11,100 crore for the development of the city and its surrounding areas, and those worth about Rs 4,600 crore related to other works in Uttar Pradesh.
After he arrived in the temple town earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi held a roadshow from the airport to the railway station and was greeted by a large number of people who had gathered along its route. Modi greeted people from his car, and at one point, opened the door of his vehicle to wave back at them. People showered flower petals, waved BJP flags and raised slogans in his praise. The prime minister also witnessed performances by cultural troupes along the route. In a post on X, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who received Modi at the airport, said, ”Hearty welcome and greetings to respected Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji in Shri Ayodhya Dham…” The inauguration of the airport and railway station were scheduled after the roadshow.
After inaugurating the station, the prime minister took a tour of the facility. He was accompanied by Adityanath, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and others. Modi was briefed by Vaishnaw about the station, the facade of which is inspired by traditional temple architecture.
The Phase-I of the redeveloped station — Ayodhya Dham Junction Railway Station — has been completed at a cost of more than Rs 240 crore, officials said.
The three-storey railway station building is equipped with features such as lifts, escalators, food plazas, shops for puja needs, cloak rooms, child care rooms, waiting halls. The station building is ”accessible for all” and an ”IGBC certified green station building”, according to the officials The prime minister flagged off two new Amrit Bharat trains — the Darbhanga-Ayodhya-Anand Vihar Terminal Amrit Bharat Express and the Malda Town-Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminus (Bengaluru) Amrit Bharat Express.
He also flagged off six new Vande Bharat Trains. These include the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra-New Delhi Vande Bharat Express, the Amritsar-Delhi Vande Bharat Express, the Coimbatore-Bangalore Cantt Vande Bharat Express, the Mangalore-Madgaon Vande Bharat Express, the Jalna-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express and the Ayodhya-Anand Vihar Terminal Vande Bharat Express.
Following this, Prime Minister Modi visited the Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, where a giant-size Veena has been installed. A devotional song sung by Lata Mangeshkar was being played during his visit.
During the inauguration of the airport, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Gen (Retired) VK Singh, Chief Minister Adityanath and other leaders accompanies Modi.
The facade of the terminal building depicts the architecture of the upcoming Ram temple here, while its interiors are decorated with paintings and murals depicting the life of Lord Ram.
The Phase-1 of the airport has been developed at a cost of more than Rs 1,450 crore, according to officials. The airport’s terminal building will have an area of 6,500 sqm, equipped to serve about 10 lakh passengers annually.
The airport will improve connectivity in the region, leading to a boost in tourism, business activities and employment opportunities, they said.