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‘In Ayodhya, we are ready to provide KFC a space if…’: Govt official

Feb 07, 2024 10:47 AM IST

Ayodhya enforces a strict prohibition on the serving of meat and alcohol within the Panch Kosi Marg. This route encompasses the Panch Kosi Parikrama.

With the success of Domino's in Ayodhya, located a kilometre away from the newly constructed Ram temple, officials have indicated the possibility of opening an outlet of US-based Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) if they only sell vegetarian items on the menu.

Devotees gather at the entrance of Ram Temple, in Ayodhya on Saturday. (ANI Photo)
Devotees gather at the entrance of Ram Temple, in Ayodhya on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

“KFC has set up its unit at Ayodhya-Lucknow highway because we do not allow non-vegetarian food items here. We are ready to provide even KFC a space if it decides to sell only vegetarian items,” Moneycontrol quoted Vishal Singh, a government official in Ayodhya, as saying.

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Ayodhya enforces a strict prohibition on the serving of meat and alcohol within the Panch Kosi Marg. This route encompasses the Panch Kosi Parikrama, a 15-kilometer pilgrimage circuit around Ayodhya, which visits sacred sites associated with the Ramayana.

“We have offers from big food chain outlets to set up their shops in Ayodhya. We welcome them with open arms, but there is only one restriction, that they should not serve non-veg food items inside the panch Kosi,” he added.

The ban on meat consumption in Ayodhya is not an isolated case. Haridwar also imposes a similar prohibition within its city limits. As a result, establishments like KFC are situated outside the city, specifically on the Haridwar-Roorkee highway.

Food chains booming in Ayodhya

Businesses, especially those in the food and hospitality sector, anticipate a significant increase in revenue as Ayodhya evolves into a prominent religious destination, competing with other major pilgrimage centres, following the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in January by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Surge in temple tourism

Based on state government projections, Ayodhya is anticipated to witness a weekly influx of 10-12 lakh visitors until Ram Navami on April 17, with continued high footfall expected thereafter.

Ayodhya is poised to expand beyond its identity as a temple town with the implementation of 161 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), amounting to over 8769.52 crore. These MoUs, signed during the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors' Summit in February last year, will be initiated at a proposed groundbreaking ceremony involving at least 25 state government departments. The upcoming ceremony is expected to increase the number of projects and their total value, further contributing to Ayodhya's development.

The state tourism department is set to initiate projects worth over 2020 crore, while the housing department will undertake projects valued at 3234 crore.

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