Ayodhya airport: a testament to dynamism of double-engine govt

| | Lucknow
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Ayodhya airport: a testament to dynamism of double-engine govt

Friday, 05 January 2024 | PNS | Lucknow

Maharshi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya is an outstanding testament to the dynamism of double-engine government, which has transformed a compact airstrip spanning just 178 acres into an expansive international airport covering 821 acres within a period of two years.

With an additional expenditure of Rs 1,175.97 crores, supplementing the Rs 287 crores received from the Airport Authority of India, the Yogi government has showcased remarkable prowess of the second engine.

The Ayodhya International Airport is an outcome of effective coordination between the executive agencies of the central and state governments. The work on this international airport started on December 2, 2021, and within two years a huge airport came into being in Ayodhya.

The Airport Authority of India spent Rs 191 crore on pavement grading and design and build basis in EPC mode and Rs 96 crore on construction of pre-engineered building. The most significant challenge was acquiring the land, and the Yogi government successfully set a significant example by acquiring approximately 500 acres of land without any dispute.

Notably, in this project of 821 acres, 182 acres of land was already registered in the name of the Civil Aviation department, whereas 139 acres of government land was acquired from various departments and institutions of the state government, including 23 acres from Avadh University, 25 acres from Education department, 90 acres from Gram Samaj, and 0.0593 acres from Irrigation department.

However, the biggest challenge before the government was to acquire the remaining 500 acres (499.68 acres) of private lands. After discussions with residents, the state government officials including the chief m himself, based on mutual consent, not only successfully acquired the private lands without any hindrance but also handed over the land to the Airport Authority of India within the stipulated time.

Furthermore, the challenges were not just limited to relocating LT (Low-Tension) and HT (High-Tension) power lines and poles spread across the entire area from runway extension areas. It also involved the removal of quarters and department buildings of Avadh University, shifting 132 kV HT transmission lines from the funnel area, relocating the police post located inside the airport to outside the operational area, removing the hangar and generator room of the Public Works Department and shifting 33 kV and 11 kV power lines.

The timely completion of all tasks such as arranging proper lighting, establishing a fire station, stormwater drainage, widening the runway from 1,500 metres to 2,200 meters, re-carpeting, constructing a 310-metre-long taxi track, building aprons for aircraft, isolation bays, taxiway strips, runway turn pads, crash gates, etc., and developing the terminal building in a single stretch on a 6,000-square-meter area with pre-engineered, prefabricated structures, including a common concourse, check-in area, security hold area, baggage collection, electrical works, airport systems, IT systems, and landscaping, was possible only due to the efficient handling by the double-engine government.

Ayodhya, the city of Lord Ram, is progressing towards becoming the new Ayodhya of modern India and the Maharshi Valmiki International Airport is going to play a significant role in this by enhancing Ayodhya’s connectivity with other parts of the country as well as the world.

Both the central and state governments are making sincere efforts to restore Ayodhya’s lost glory. The first phase of the airport project has been completed, featuring a terminal spanning 65,000 square feet with a capacity for 2 to 3 flights per hour. The airport boasts a runway of 2,200 metres, accommodating not only small aircraft but also larger ones like Boeing 737, Airbus 319 and Airbus 320.

In the second phase, the runway will be extended to 3,700 metres, allowing all international aircraft, including Boeing 787 and Boeing 777, to land directly in Ayodhya. The airport’s second phase will also include a terminal covering 5 lakh square feet.

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