Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Varanasi. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated two National Highways and inland waterways project at his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, today. The first multi-modal waterways terminal on the Ganga river is 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.
National Waterway-1 (Haldia-Varanasi stretch) is being developed with technical assistance and investment support from the World Bank. In addition, he inaugurated projects worth Rs. 2,413 crore, and said the pilgrim city will witness a "confluence of nature, culture and adventure", and appealed to the people to "preserve the new face" of Kashi (Varanasi).
Here are the highlights from PM Modi's Varanasi visit:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated several development projects in Varanasi
PM Modi thanks minister Nitin Gadkari in Varanasi. "Under his leadership, we have again been successful in making the lives of people of Varanasi and Purvanchal easier through better and wider roads. Widening of Varanasi ring road phase 1 and Babatpur-Varanasi road on NH-56 will make a developing Varanasi greater," he adds.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said the decision to use water as a mean of transport was taken in 1986 but no work was properly started before Narendra Modi became the PM in 2014.
Foundation stones of various schemes have been laid to make River Ganga pollution-free, PM Modi informs.
PM Modi inaugurates 2 sewage infra projects worth Rs 425.41 crore in Varanasi, lays foundation stone for Rs 72.91 crore project for Ramnagar.
"For the first time since Independence, we are using our extensive river network for commerce at this scale. It should have happened decades ago but we have finally made it happen now," PM Modi said, speaking at the launch.
In Uttar Pradesh, Pruvanchal, all the fertiliser factories can send their material directly with the help of the container vessel. This is just an example, PM Modi adds.
"The season of festivity has come to an end, and I am fortunate that I got to visit Baba Kedarnath shrine on Diwali," says PM Modi. "Today is a historic day for all Indians. Varanasi should have had these projects decades ago, which we inaugurated today."
"Being an MP from Varanasi and the Prime Minister of the nation, my happiness has doubled," he adds.
PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of various development projects in Varanasi.
The project, an inland port, has been unveiled as PM Modi received India's first container vessel that sailed from Kolkata on the inland waterway on October 30, carrying cargo belonging to food and beverage giant PepsiCo India.
Inland Waterways Project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gets a walk through of India's first multi-modal terminal project in Varanasi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reach Varanasi.
According to officials, the 16.55 km Varanasi Ring Road Phase I has been completed at a cost of Rs 759.36 crore, while the work of the four-laning and construction of 17.25 km Babatpur-Varanasi road on NH-56 (National Highway-56) cost Rs 812.59 crore.
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 Rs 5,369.18 crore.
The objective of the first multi-modal waterways terminal on the Ganga river is to promote inland waterways as a cheap and environment-friendly means of transportation, especially for cargo movement.
The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project implementing agency.