VARANASI BAGS PROJECTS WORTH Rs 2,413 CRORES

PM Narendra Modi visited around 15 times to his parliamentary constituency and gifted one project or more each time, writes MUDIT MATHUR

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As general elections come closer, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be a man in hurry to accomplish his unfinished task that he promised while switching from his home constituency, Varodara to Varanasi in 2014. After becoming prime minister, he visited around 15 times to his parliamentary constituency. Each time he gifted his constituency with some new projects or inaugurated ongoing projects aimed at transforming development of the oldest holy city of the world.

Modi wishes to be in constant touch with his electorate by having a personal rapport with them caring about their minute needs and to improve their quality of life. This week too, despite his busy electioneering schedule in assembly poll bound states, he managed a little time for visiting Varanasi to inaugurate several development projects at an estimated cost of 2,413 crores in his Lok Sabha constituency. These projects have been designed to create a ‘transformative impact’ on the overall development of this holy city and the state of Uttar Pradesh, especially Poorvanchal as this belt stood behind his leadership paving his way to power in 2014.

During inauguration ceremony speech Modi sung the songs of development at a time when his party and top leadership have been paddling Hinduism and Ram Temple in Ayodhya issues in election campaigning. On the contrary Modi behaved cautiously in his constituency where he stressed that now people will only like politics of development alone.

Making Kashi cleaner and healthier through sewerage projects which will have a long-term impact on the city and surrounding areas. The inauguration of 140 MLD Dinapur STP will add great strength towards the efforts of cleaning the river Ganga. He inaugurated a multi-modal terminal on River Ganga, two national highway projects along with some sewerage projects. In a major boost to port-led development and harnessing our Jal Shakti for India’s growth, an inland waterways terminal project conceived from Varanasi to Haldia port in West Bengal.

In Ramnagar area of his constituency, Modi inaugurated the multimodal terminal of IWAI. Multi-modal waterways terminal on the Ganga river as part of the Centre’s Jal Marg Vikas Project which aims to develop the stretch of the river between Varanasi and Haldia for navigation of large vessels weighing up to 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes.

In an oblique attack on previous governments, Modi said, “Today is a momentous day. Today Varanasi and the country, is witnessing a unique development that should have taken place decades ago. But that did not happen. When I initially moved the idea of launching a multi-modal terminal on the Ganga River, people made fun and indulged in negative talks, but now, these projects are living examples of new India’s new vision.” “The  next generation will witness a sea change in the transport sector by this multi-modal terminal on the Ganga River,” prime minister remarked.

“Now, the country wants only politics of development. People take their decisions on the basis of development and not on vote bank politics,” he said.

Explaining the nitty-gritty of the project, the Commissioner Varanasi Deepak Agrawal told ‘Tehelka,’ “The project has been designed to promote inland waterways as a cheap and environment-friendly mode of transportation, especially for cargo movement and shipments. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has been entrusted to execute this project.”

“National Waterway-1 (Haldia-Varanasi stretch) is being developed with technical assistance and investment support from the World Bank. The total estimated cost of the project is 5,369.18 crore, which will be shared between the Government of India and the World Bank on a 50:50 ratio, he explained sharing its financial details.

The multi-modal terminal project and proposed freight village in Varanasi are likely to generate 500 direct jobs and more than 2,000 indirect employment opportunities.

As a part of clean-green Varanasi, Modi inaugurated 10 major projects worth 2,301.75 crore in the city on his latest visit on November 12.

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