Tourism boost: UP to widen Ayodhya-Prayagraj route – Times of India


LUCKNOW: Realising the potential for religious tourism, UP govt is set to widen highways linking Ayodhya to other parts of the state in a phased manner.

In the first phase, the 90km-long road stretch connecting Ayodhya and Pratapgarh via Sultanpur will be developed in two stages. Widening of the stretch is crucial to improve connectivity between Ayodhya and Prayagraj, the two important religious destinations in the state, officials said.

The national highway would have a series of flyovers to reduce the conflict between city traffic and highway bound motor vehicles. The existing carriageway on the Ayodhya-Sultanpur-Pratapgarh route is 10 metre wide and does not have a continuous road median. “It is a two-lane road without any divider with a carriageway of seven metre and a paved shoulder. It would be widened to at least 22 metre,” said a senior officer from the national highways authority of India (NHAI) deputed in Lucknow.

While the Ayodhya-Sultanpur stretch spanning over 47 km would be developed later, land acquisition work has been initiated to start work on the second stage spanning 43 km between Sultanpur and Pratapgarh. A budget of Rs 1,290 crore has been sanctioned by the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) and PWD in UP would get the project executed when the land is acquired.

Meanwhile, the Ayodhya-Sultanpur route would be widened after MoRTH approves the revised detailed project report. The scope of the previous work has been changed and the need to acquire additional land has been cited so that the route could be expanded to six lanes in future. The estimated cost is expected to go up from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 1,800 crore, said officials.

Separated by about 170 km, upgrading the 90 km stretch is important to bring down the travel time between Ayodhya and Prayagraj from four hours to 2.5-3 hours. “The Pratapgarh-Prayagraj route is already connected via a four-lane road and hence upgrading the remaining 90 km is important,” said a senior PWD officer.

Officials said the Lucknow-Varanasi national highway has been developed in a way to avoid conflict between city and highway bound traffic and a similar design is being prepared for the Ayodhya-Pratapgarh route.

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