Varanasi, Vikas, Vishwas

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Has Member of Parliament Narendra Modi done development work in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi?

This is some of the work that has already been completed, or is well under way towards completion within the next two years:

(1) The Kashi Ring Road Phase-I, covering a distance of 16.6 km has been completed at a cost of ₹760 crores.

(2) The construction of the 17.25 km 4-lane Babatpur Airport Highway on NH-56 has been completed at a cost ₹813 crores.  Travel time of 1:30 hours between the airport and the city has been cut down to just 20 minutes.

(3) Electrical cables and wires have gone underground. Earlier, wires used to dangle overhead, much like other cities in India.

(4) An Inland Waterways Terminal has been built on the river Ganga.

(5) The Manduadih Railway Station (see picture) in Varanasi has been revamped into a world-class station. Equipped with the latest amenities, the station is nothing short of an airport. The station has an air-conditioned waiting lounge, LED lights, free WiFi, cafeteria, food court, booking and reservation office, waiting rooms and more.

(6) The 180-bed Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital has opened in Varanasi. It will be run by the Tata Memorial Trust, which runs the famous Tata Memoria Hospital in Mumbai, considered the No. 1 cancer hospital in India.

(7) Another big cancer hospital is coming up inside the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) campus, called the Mahamana Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Centre, which will be a 350-bed hospital being built at a cost of ₹500 crores and which will be completed by 2020. The OPD has already started. The Tata Memorial Trust will run that facility as well.

(8) As many as 26 Bathing Ghats are being renovated.

(9) Modi’s favourite project, the KASHI VISHWANATH CORRIDOR project, is also the most controversial.  The Kashi Vishwanath temple located on the left bank of the Ganga is surrounded by narrow and small, claustrophobic lanes. This prime place of worship struggles to manage humongous crowds in its congested lanes during festive times, which is literally round the year. Roughly 3,000 to 5,000 people visit the temple every day and on special occasions like Mahashivaratri and Shravan month, the crowds reache over 2 to 3 lakh people. The 50-feet-wide Kashi Vishwanath Corridor will connect the ancient shrine and one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temple to the famous ghats of Varanasi. Once completed, the corridor will ease the congestion and provide the pilgrims and travellers other amenities such as wider and cleaner roads and lanes, better lighting with bright street lights, and clean drinking water. The ₹600 crores, 2,70,000 square foot project will include waiting rooms for the pilgrims to rest, a museum depicting Varanasi’s ancient history and culture, Yagyashalas for religious functions like havan and yagya, lodging for priests, volunteers and pilgrims, a big, majestic square, a food street, a Bhogshala for offerings, and an Auditorium for gatherings, meetings and temple functions. So why is this magnificent project so controversial? There are 3 reasons: (a) Some tiny temples have had to be demolished, angering some priests; (b) Dwellings of some people have been demolished to clear the 50 feet wide corridor; (c) most importantly, anti-Modi media has blown these issues out of proportion.

(10) The 80-km long ancient pilgrimage route, the ‘Paanch Koshi Parikrama Marg is being widened and improved at a cost of almost ₹100 crores.

(11) Three National Highways to Varanasi are being widened and upgraded at a cost of almost ₹3,800 crores.

(12) A Sewage Treatment Plant has been built at a cost of almost ₹550 crores.

(13) A ₹300 crores Trade Facilitation Centre.

(14) A ₹190 crores Convention Centre.

(15) A ₹130 crores Drinking Water Scheme.

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