Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the new Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in the temple town of Ayodhya. 

During his visit to Ayodhya, Modi also launched the redeveloped Ayodhya Dham Railway Station. He also flagged off six Vande Bharat and two new Amrit Bharat trains. 

After inaugurating the international airport and redeveloped railway station, Modi said at a public meeting that the whole world is waiting for the historic Ram Temple consecration at Ayodhya on January 22.

He also noted that the strength of “vikas” (development) and “virasat” (heritage) will take the country forward.

Citing the difficulties for the temple trust in managing large crowds, PM Modi requested people to start travelling to Ayodhya for their Ram temple visit after the inauguration.

Meanwhile, the Ayodhya airport’s Phase -I has been developed at a cost of over ₹ 1,450 crore. The airport’s terminal has an area of 6,500 sq m and will be equipped to in the first phase handle about 10 lakh passengers annually. After the second phase, Maharishi Valmiki International Airport will cater to 60 lakh commuters annually.

The airport will improve connectivity in the region, leading to a boost in tourism, business activities and employment opportunities.

On the other hand, Ayodhya Dham Railway Station has been redeveloped at cost of ₹ 240 crore. It is a certified green building and is equipped with lifts, escalators, waiting halls, cloakrooms besides food plazas.

“The country’s first Vande Bharat Express train ran from Kashi. Today Vande Bharat Express trains are running on 34 routes in the country. Vande Bharat connects Kashi, Katra, Ujjain, Pushkar, Tirupati, Shirdi, Amritsar, Madurai, every such big center of faith. In this series, today Ayodhya has also got the gift of Vande Bharat train”, said PM Modi.

The PM’s visit to Ayodhya on Saturday comes ahead of the much-awaited consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple on January 22.

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday dedicated to the nation projects worth ₹ 15,700 crore —₹11,100 crore for the development of the Ayodhya city and its surrounding areas, and those worth about ₹4,600 crore related to other works in Uttar Pradesh.

Modi inaugurated four widened and beautified roads in the city. The other projects include a medical college, the Ayodhya bypass, a solid waste treatment and five parking and commercial facilities.

Soon after arriving in Ayodhya on Saturday, Modi held a roadshow during which he waved and greeted at the people who had gathered along the route from the airport to the railway station.Along his roadshow route, there was also performances by cultural troupes. 

The Amrit Bharat trains, which are a new category of superfast passenger trains, feature the ‘push-pull’ technology, which increases their speed as well as passenger comfort. 

They also have improved amenities, including better seats, roomier luggage racks, LED lights, CCTV cameras and a public information system.

Airlines will offer flights to and from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Ahmedabad to cater to the thousands of people who are expected to visit the Ram Temple every day after the consecration ceremony.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday inspected the Ayodhya railway station and the airport and also took a selfie at the ground where the Prime Minister was scheduled to hold a public address.