On August 5, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the bhoomi pujan for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, laying a silver brick to start the construction of the temple.
This historic event also marks a new era in development of the ancient temple town which in turn will also help in the economic revival of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi congratulated fellow countrymen and Ram devotees the world over.
Terming it as historic, he said that India is starting a glorious chapter today, when people all across the country are excited and emotional to have finally achieved what they had been waiting for centuries, several of whom are scarcely able to believe that they are witnessing this day in their lifetime.
Along with the fact that this event is truly a cultural milestone, it brings with it a great economic opportunity for Ayodhya as an important cultural and historical site.
Owing to the belief as the birthplace of Lord Ram, Ayodhya has been regarded as one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus.
However, since this ancient temple town has been embroiled in controversy for years (over the demolition of the Babri Masjid, before which, it is believed, that there once stood a Ram temple), it was unable to cash in on its significance as a cultural and historical site in the way that other historical sites in the country have benefitted.
The construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya will now give it a new lease to a profitable life and add value to the economic significance of the region.
The Ram Mandir can change the economy of the region by creating new opportunities and providing jobs for the people living there and boost tourism as well.
An economic slowdown has been forced on the world since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic; and travel and tourism is one of the hardest hit segments.
But now, with the economy of the country opening up gradually, the world pinning its hopes on an effective vaccine, places of worship being allowed to function under strict guidelines, it won’t be long before temple tourism starts to see some sunshine again.
It is being estimated that the complete construction of the grand Ram Temple will take approximately 3.5 years from now at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore. This is ample time for the country’s economy to recover from the ill-effects of the pandemic following which Ayodhya and Eastern Uttar Pradesh stand to gain in many ways.
In India, religious tourism (places of worship) is a massive industry. It supports thousands of jobs as it is still a manpower-intensive sector. The services cannot be automated and hence it can generate jobs of various kinds.
Given the history of Ayodhya’s Ram Temple, it has great potential to become a major tourist attraction in the country that can attract visitors from across the world.
The Uttar Pradesh government has also allocated Rs 85 crore for development of tourist infrastructure facilities in Ayodhya. This means more infrastructure and more jobs for all.
A number of ancillary services and jobs are also bound to rise on account of the historic temple. More roads, bridges and transport will have to be introduced or the existing ones will have to be improved.
Hotels and healthcare units will also have to be improved, paving way for more investments from the public and private sector players which will further lead to job creation for people in the region.
A budget of Rs 500 crore has been allocated for the construction of an airport in Ayodhya which will add to the convenience of travel enthusiasts willing to spend more to visit the heritage site.
The real estate sector too stands to witness a boom with land requirements to encourage temple tourism.
Additionally, a lot of land in Ayodhya which is owned by the natives can earn them big bucks if rented or sold at premium prices at the right time, which is hereon-forward.
However, listed above are some of the possible opportunities that can be exploited for economic growth in Ayodhya and in Eastern Uttar Pradesh which can only come to its fruition if it is met with the right preparation.
By starting the construction of the Ram temple, the stage has been set for a viable economic growth and prosperity of the region.
A news report in the New Indian Express quoted a Vishwa Hindu Parishad official as stating that engineering giant Larsen & Toubro is ready to construct the Ram temple in Ayodhya for free.
L&T, the report added, has expressed the desire to execute all technical and construction projects related to the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and offered to undertake the execution of the project without charging any fee.