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Area near Ram Mandir premises in Ayodhya announced as ‘Liquor free zone’

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HT Digital,

Ayodhya, Dec 28: In anticipation of the consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Uttar Pradesh government has taken a significant step to declare the 84-Kosi Parikrama area surrounding the temple premises as a ‘no liquor zone’.

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This directive, issued by the state government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, prohibits the sale and consumption of alcohol within an 84-kilometer radius of the temple. The decision was announced on December 28th, 2023, following discussions between State Excise Minister Nitin Aggarwal and Champat Rai, the General Secretary of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir Trust.

The ban is specifically targeted at the Parikrama area and does not extend to the entire city of Ayodhya. Existing liquor shops within this radius will be either relocated or removed to comply with the new regulations.

This move comes ahead of the grand opening of the Ram Mandir, scheduled for January 22nd, 2024, which is expected to draw thousands of devotees and notable guests, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other prominent figures from various fields. The Ram Mandir itself spans 54,700 sq ft, covering nearly 2.7 acres of land, while the entire complex stretches over approximately 70 acres.

It is designed to accommodate around a million devotees at any given time. The temple’s construction is estimated to cost Rs 1,800 crore and is expected to be completed by January 2024, with the first phase already finished.

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As Ayodhya prepares for the consecration ceremony and the Prime Minister’s visit, the city is also gearing up with improved infrastructure, including a new airport and a redeveloped railway station. The declaration of the liquor-free zone is part of the broader efforts to maintain the sanctity of the temple city and respect the religious sentiments associated with it.

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