In 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi constituency for his electoral debut in parliamentary politics, he said, “Neither I have come here nor I have been brought, I have been called by Maa Ganga.” After winning the election he remarked, “There’s a lot of work that God has put me on this earth for. A lot of it is dirty work, but I’m up to the task.”
Since then, Varanasi has transformed drastically. From world-class infrastructure to express trains, from underground cabling to waste treatment plants, from a cultural convention centre to modern traffic control, from a multimodal terminal to a container depot for perishables, the people of Varanasi have witnessed the change.
On Monday, Prime Minister Modi added the ambitious Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor to this list by inaugurating its first phase worth ₹339 crores. The project connects Varanasi’s two iconic landmarks – the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Ganga Ghats. In his address during the inauguration, Prime Minister said that Baba Vishwanath and Maa Ganga’s blessing are for everyone but with time it became difficult for people, especially the disabled and elderly to come here for blessings. “With the completion of the Vishwanath Dham Project, it will now become easy for anyone to come here and seek blessings,” he said.
A total of 23 buildings – spread over five lakh square feet have been inaugurated in the first phase of the Kashi Vishwanath project offering myriad facilities to the visitors such as Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery, Food Court, among others.
Emphasising on the divine power of Lord Shiva, Modi said, “Whatever happens here, happens because of Lord Shiva’s wishes and whatever is happening today (inauguration of the project) is done by Lord Shiva.” He added that in Kashi, only the one who holds damru rules it.
Prime Minister also thanked the construction workers and engineers in his address and acknowledged that these people didn’t let the work stop even during the Corona period. Before his address, he sought the blessings of the construction workers involved in the project and showered flowers on them.
Prime Minister in his address drew a balance between conserving India’s rich culture and focusing on its developmental needs and aspirations. He said, “Today’s India is not only building Lord Ram’s temple in Ayodhya but is also building a medical college in every district. Today’s India is not only giving Baba Vishwanath Dham a gorgeous look but also building pakka houses for the poor. In this new India, we have heritage as well as development.”
Prime Minister further said that for him every Indian has a part of God residing in them and asked the people to take three pledges. “I ask you for three pledges, not for myself but for the country– cleanliness, creativity and a constant effort for a self-reliant India,” Modi said.
PM Modi is on a two-day visit to Varanasi. Ahead of the crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Modi has inaugurated several projects in the state. This is the third project that he has inaugurated in a week. In the past week, he had inaugurated projects worth Rs 9600 crore in Gorakhpur and the Saryu Canal Project in Balrampur. He is scheduled to visit the state for two more events this month.