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VVIP constituency: 8 things PM Modi did for Varanasi July 06th, 2019 The Economic Times

 VVIP constituency: 8 things PM Modi did for Varanasi

How have five years of the Modi raj changed Varanasi, his own constituency ? Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to turn Varanasi into Kyoto, the Japanese town famous for its temples. The VVIP constituency of Varanasi may not have become another Kyoto but PM Modi sure has started and even inaugurated many ambitious projects.

While election results will tell how Varanasi residents judge PM Modi's performance in his own constituency, on the day when PM Modi files his nomination papers to seek another term from Varanasi, we list below some of the prominent developmental projects initiated and delivered by the Modi government.

Cleaning the Ganga

A total of 13 projects worth Rs 913 crore have been sanctioned for Varanasi under Namami Gange programme. Additionally, sewerage projects worth Rs 703.14 crore have been taken under JNNURM and AMRUT schemes. Varanasi is set to have zero sewer discharge in the holy river by November this year.

The Ganga Action Plan was launched by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Varanasi on June 14, 1986 to reduce the pollution load on Ganga. Under Nitin Gadkari, the Ministry of Ganga Rejuvenation and its implementing arm National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) have taken up several projects for treatment of sewer water in Varanasi.

According to officials, work on 50 MLD (million litres per day) sewage treatment plant at Ramana is nearing completion. By November this year, it is expected to be fully operational for treating discharge of Assi Nala. With this, flow of untreated sewer water from Varanasi city into the Ganga will be completely checked. Another 120 MLD treatment plant at Goitha is undergoing trials which will increase sewage treatment capacity to 412 MLD.

Piped gas to households

PM Modi dedicated to the nation the Varanasi City Gas Distribution (CGD) network last year which will supply environment-friendly natural gas to the city's households, transport sector and industries. The foundation stone of the project was laid by PM Modi in 2016 as part of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga initiative. The CGD network, which is being implemented by GAIL (India) Limited at a cost of Rs 755 crores, will cover 1,535 sq km and cater to a population of 36.76 lakh.

Making Varanasi 'wireless'

Eighty-six years after Varanasi got electricity, overhead power cables in Varanasi were dismantled after a project to lay underground lines over 16 sq-km was completed last year. Laying underground cables for 50,000 consumers through the serpentine lanes and congested markets in one of the world’s oldest cities was quite a challenge. Powergrid took two years and finished the project in 2017.

Cancer treatment facilities

PM Modi inaugurated the Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital in Varanasi last year. It is run by the Tata Memorial Trust. This is Tata Memorial Trust’s first such big cancer treatment centre in this region to cater to the population of Uttar Pradesh as well as Bihar. PM Modi had requested the Trust to take over the Railway Cancer Institute and refurbish it with the latest machines and equipment. The Trust has built another cancer tratment facility inside the Banaras Hindu University. The 352-bed Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya Cancer Centre was built in record 10 months and was inaugurated in February.

Convention Centre

A modern convention centre is being built in Varanasi with Japanese government's official lending arm JICA giving financial assistance of around Rs 130 crore. The sophisticated convention centre with a seating capacity of 1,200 will have a main hall with a full flying tower, a gallery, meeting rooms besides a parking facility for 120 cars.

Multi-modal terminal on the Ganga

For the first time in India's history, river transport has begun starting with Varanasi. Last year, PM Modi inaugurated India's first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in Varanasi and received the country's first container cargo transported on inland waterways from Kolkata. The first consignment containing food and beverage had set sail from Kolkata. This is the first of the four multi-modal terminals being constructed on the National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India.


In November last year, PM Modi inaugurated two important roads, having a total length of 34 kilometres and built at a cost of Rs 1,571.95 crore, in Varanasi. The 16.55-km-long Varanasi Ring Road Phase-I has been built at a cost of Rs 759.36 crore, while the work of four-laning and construction of 17.25 km Babatput-Varanasi road on NH-56 cost Rs 812.59 crore.

The Ring Road, with two rail overbridges and a flyover, allows traffic on NH 56 (Lucknow-Varanasi), NH 233 (Azamgarh-Varanasi), NH 29 (Gorakhpur-Varanasi) and Ayodhya-Varanasi highways to bypass Varanasi, thereby reducing traffic congestion in the city. This reduces travel time, fuel usage and pollution in the area.

The Babatpur Airport highway connects the city with the airport and goes on to link Jaunpur, Sultanpur and Lucknow. With a flyover at Harhua and a rail overbridge at Tarna, it reduces the travel time from Varanasi to the airport, providing a big relief to the people of the holy city and tourists.

National highway projects of total length 2,833 km, costing Rs 63,885 crore, are underway to link Varanasi with other places in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Of these, 15 road projects of 1,143 kilometre length are under various stages of construction. These include Varanasi-Jaunpur, Varanasi-Sultanpur, Sultanpur-Lucknow, Varanasi Ghaghra Bridge and Varanasi-Azamgarh.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple to Ganga Ghat corridor

This is PM Modi's dream project that can give Varanasi pilgrimage area a big makeover. This project will make Kashi Vishwanath Temple accessible to the pilgrims directly from the ghats along the Ganga, sparing them the struggle of reaching it through congested, serpentine lanes. The project, costing Rs 600 crore, is expected to be complete this year. 166 buildings have been demolished and 46 ancient temples and other buildings of architectural importance have been preserved. The 56-meter wide corridor will be over 300 meters in length. The temple is surrounded by narrow lanes which are full of dilapidated buildings and crumbling basic infrastructure. The narrow lanes and dilapidated buildings prevent fire-fighting system and medical facilities. The project aims to build world-class facilities for pilgrims in and around the temple.

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