In the surrounding areas of the town, land prices have shot up to Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per square feet Credit: File image

Defying the COVID-19 induced slowdown, in what could only be described as divine intervention, land prices in Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh has doubled in just a month since the Ram Temple Bhoomi Pujan in August.

This is not counting the 30-40% appreciation since the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit nine months earlier and the temple ceremony in August.

Additionally, in the surrounding areas of the town, land prices have shot up to Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per square feet. At prime locations, this rate stands as high as Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per square feet. Before the verdict, the land prices remained at Rs 900 per square feet.

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The immediate trigger for this unprecedented rise in property prices can be linked to the fact that UP CM Yogi Adityanathhas also announced many infrastructural projects. This includes Ayodhya airport, Navya Ayodhya – a township which is planned on the lines of London—and also a revamped Ayodhya railway station.

The new plans also include the construction of many three-star hotels and a promise by the CM to turn the pilgrimage town to “India’s Vatican.”

Owing to an ongoing highly-volatile political controversy that lasted for decades, the city’s realty prices remained ever depressed. The nearest hotel to the city was in Faizabad which is 6 km away. Lack of amenities in the outskirts also kept prices to around Rs 300- Rs 450 per square feet.

While the land isn’t actually being gobbled up, the process is surging in an anticipation of state government buying vast tracks of land for infrastructure projects. Prospective buyers remain wary of their investment getting jeopardised in case they buy at premiums. Later they can get their land acquired by the state.

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Local property agents quoted in a report in a leading news daily that local authorities have already put up land registry strictures in place. Meanwhile, various properties are disputed and a majority of the land parcels that are up for sale lie on the wetlands of Saryu River. They are also under strict scrutiny by the National Green Tribunal.

While most buyers see the land as a solid investment for the future, many want the land for religious purposes like setting up Dharamsala and community kitchens.

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