A photo claimed to portray the redeveloped Ayodhya Railway Station has been circulating widely. Twitter user Nayak Mahesh Chauhan, who describes himself as an RSS and Bajrang Yuva Sangh supporter in his bio, shared it with the claim and received more than 500 retweets as of this writing. (Archive link)
A Facebook page called ‘भगवा सेना’ (Bhagwa Sena) amplified the image as the proposed Ayodhya Railway Station.
The picture was widespread on Facebook and Twitter, and on WhatsApp where it was circulated with a similar message in Gujarati.
Alt News performed a reverse image search and located the original picture in a few news reports. A Live Hindustan story dated February 17, 2020 said it shows the New Delhi Railway Station Project. The report says that Rs 6,500 crore will be spent on the project and tenders will be floated for the same in the coming months. The Financial Express also carried the photo as the redevelopment project of the New Delhi Railway Station.
We further found the photo in a Daily Mail report dated June 24, 2014 which said it is a computer-generated image that shows the model of the project. The report states that Arup Consultancy had been appointed to redevelop the station. “Arup has been appointed to redevelop the 86 hectares that the station covers and make the site fit for 21st century travel,” per Daily Mail.
We also found this image in a project file named Indian Railways Vision 2020 on the Indian Railways website through a keyword search. This document had been released by the Ministry of Railways in December 2009.
The picture is also available on Arup Consultancy website and the description states that the company is “preparing” the master plan and design for the renovation project.
What is the proposed Ayodhya Railway Station?
The Ministry of Railways had uploaded a video on YouTube on August 5, 2020, that showed an artist’s rendition of the redevelopment of Ayodhya Railway Station. This is quite different from the digital conceptualisation of the New Delhi Railway Station.
A computer-generated picture of the New Delhi Railway Station redevelopment project was falsely shared on social media as a photo depicting proposed renovations at the Ayodhya Railway Station. Earlier too, a picture of a project in Ukraine was circulated by BJP supporters as the Vaishnodevi flyover.