Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday signed an agreement with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for leasing 317.855 acres of land for the Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport in Ayodhya.

The lease agreement was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

A total of 317.855 acres of land has been acquired by the state government for the airport project.

With both the Central and Uttar Pradesh governments expected to make Ayodhya an international tourism hub once the work on the Ram temple begins, the international airport is an ambitious step in that direction to boost tourism and provide air connectivity to the surrounding areas. project is.

According to the official spokesperson, though an MoU was signed with AAI in 2014 for upgradation of the existing airport, the project could not take off.

In 2019, the state government conducted a feasibility study on an area of ​​178 acres to be used by small aircraft for flying club activities and non-scheduled flights.

Speaking on the occasion, Adityanath said that it is a proud moment that the holy city of Ayodhya has taken a step forward in getting air connectivity. He said that it is even more important that the agreement was signed during Navratri.

He said that the remaining 86 acres of land would be acquired in the next two to three months.

The Chief Minister said that during the last five years, Uttar Pradesh has made considerable progress in expanding the air connectivity network in the State.

He said that there are only two fully functional airports in the state at Lucknow and Varanasi, but today there are nine functional airports in the state. In addition, work is in progress for Jewar International Airport.

Last week, on his first visit to Ayodhya after becoming chief minister for a second term, Adityanath visited the Ram temple site and reviewed the construction progress.

He had also directed the municipal corporation to stop the levy of house and water taxes at commercial rates from ‘monasteries’, temples and dharamshalas and instead find an option to charge some ‘token money’.