Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is making efforts to modernise Varanasi while preserving its age-old identity.
The Prime Minister made the statement after launching developmental projects worth Rs 550 crore in the temple town.
While addressing a public rally, the Prime Minister said, “There has been either inauguration or foundation stone laying of projects worth 550-crore-rupees. These development projects are not just limited to Varanasi but also cover nearby villages. Whatever change we are trying to bring in Varanasi is being done in such a manner that the tradition and historical heritage of the city remains preserved. We are blending modern infrastructure in this city while preserving its age-old identity.”
He also took the occasion to take a jibe on the previous government, saying that they left Varanasi to the mercy of Lord Shiva. “We can clearly see the difference between then and now when four years ago, residents of Varanasi took a resolve to bring a change. Before that period, Varanasi had been left to the mercy of Lord Shiva,” he said.
“When I used to visit Varanasi before becoming a Member of Parliament, I always pondered when would Banaras get rid of the loosely hanging electricity wire. Today such hanging electricity wires have been completely removed from large parts of the city. In other areas also there is fast progress in underground electrification work. Road projects worth crores of rupees are under implementation in Varanasi,” he added.
He further highlighted the work done by the BJP government in his constituency and said, “We have completed the construction of Manduadih flyover. The to and fro movement from Ramnagar has become easier after the construction of ‘Saamne Ghat bridge’ over Ganga river. Widening of ‘Andhra Bridge’ was pending since long and we have also completed it. People coming to Varanasi airport are also becoming a witness of its development story. The number of air travellers to Varanasi has also increased.”
He also threw light on efforts which are underway to manage the city’s traffic.
“To bring Smart transport in Smart Banaras, we are working on the modernisation of all modes of transport. My happiness doubles when I see people excitingly sharing the pictures of Varanasi’s railway station. We have accelerated the development work of all three railway stations in the city and their modernisation is under progress”, he added.
Stressing on the change that his cleanliness campaign has brought in the city, the Prime Minister said, “Today it has become easier to not only travel to Varanasi but we have also improved its overall beauty. Our Ghats now welcome tourists with a new light, free of any garbage. We have also started the cruise in the river Ganga and these initiatives of transformation with tourism will continue forever. We are doing beautification and development of main parks of the city. We have also started light and sound show for tourists in Sarnath.”