By yearend, Ayodhya expects footfall of 2-3 lakh visitors per day - Hindustan Times

By yearend, Ayodhya expects footfall of 2-3 lakh visitors per day as Ram temple inaugurated

Jan 24, 2024 01:11 AM IST

Government working on ticketing system and introduction of a tourist police force to manage crowds effectively, says mayor

The Ayodhya administration is working on ticketing systems and introduction of a tourist police force to manage crowds effectively, after the unexpected large turnout of devotees for darshan of Ram Lalla on Tuesday posed a challenge for the city that expects a footfall of around 2 to 3 lakh per day by the yearend.

Devotees waiting on Ram Path to visit Ram temple in Ayodhya, on Tuesday. (Deepak Gupta/HT)
Devotees waiting on Ram Path to visit Ram temple in Ayodhya, on Tuesday. (Deepak Gupta/HT)

“To handle the influx of tourists, we already have an Ayodhya Vision Document, and we are already moving ahead according to that. By the yearend, the daily tourist count is expected to be around 2 to 3 lakh per day, surpassing every city in the world. We are ready for it,” said Mukesh Meshram, principal secretary, tourism and culture.

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He said the government is working on a comprehensive 360-degree model to provide top-notch amenities for devotees, including clean drinking water, round-the-clock electricity, extensive network of toilets, robust public transportation, enhanced drainage, and river rejuvenation. “The aim is to ensure that tourists leave Ayodhya with a lasting sense of divinity and warmth,” added Meshram.

The principal secretary said Tuesday’s crowd surge could be because people were waiting for this moment for more than 500 years and it was a big occasion for them. “Sometimes, you must understand people’s sentiments,” he said.

Read Here: Ayodhya Ram Mandir could attract more tourists than Mecca, Vatican City combined, report reveals

Till 2017, Ayodhya attracted a modest two lakh tourists per year. However, in 2022, the number skyrocketed to over 2.03 crore, and by the end of 2023, the count may have crossed the 3-crore mark. The growing interest can be largely attributed to the construction of the Ram Temple and the proactive measures taken by the Yogi Adityanath government to enhance tourism infrastructure.

Meshram said, “The proactive steps include initiatives such as the conceptualization of ‘Navya Ayodhya’ and the grand Deepotsav, which not only restored Ayodhya’s global identity, but also secured a Guinness record for the state.”

Besides improvement of the city’s comprehensive road, rail and air connectivity, the operational phase of the airport in Ayodhya, with a capacity of 1 million passengers, is set to expand to 6 million by 2025. Additionally, the railway capacity has doubled to accommodate 60,000 passengers per day, ensuring excellent connectivity with neighbouring districts, he said.

Through road network, Ayodhya is also connected to Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Devipatan etc. Economic activities also increase When tourists take these routes, he said.

Read Here: How Ayodhya's Ram Mandir will benefit temple tourism in India

Meshram said the transformation of Ayodhya has not only attracted tourists but also triggered reverse migration, with natives returning to start businesses, fostering economic growth in the region.

“With around 165 registered hotels, we have got assurance of 7,000 rooms capacity by the yearend. Over 100 new hotels are in the pipeline, and several international hotel brands have expressed their desire to open their chains here,” he added.

Ayodhya mayor Girishpati Tripathi said, “The government envisions Ayodhya as a model solar city. Its appeal extends beyond Hinduism, with the city’s rich religious heritage having the potential to attract diverse pilgrims from all faiths.”

He said, “The government is working on ticketing systems and the introduction of a tourist police force to manage crowds effectively. The increased demand for air travel to Ayodhya has led to the start of a new helicopter service from different districts of the state. This is scheduled to start on January 26.”

The DM said the city’s potential for economic growth and reverse migration makes Ayodhya a key player on India’s tourism landscape. “The government’s commitment to sustainable development and efficient crowd management reflects its dedication to make Ayodhya a model city for the future,” he added.

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    Anupam Srivastava is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Lucknow. Has produced exclusive stories in medical, civil aviation, civic, political and other issues for over 20 years.

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