Report by Rajnish Jha
Noida: It is a dream come true for residents of Varanasi. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham, a key temple project, constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crore on Monday . PM Modi launched phase one of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, which connects the holy city’s two iconic landmarks, Kashi Vishwanath temple and Ganga ghats.
This is a dream come true for residents of Kashi as they now have an accessible pathway connecting the Kashi Vishwanath temples to the banks of the Ganga river. Earlier, while addressing a gathering at the temple complex, PM
PM Modi talks of new India
Modi said the Kashi Vishwanath temple area was only 3,000 square feet. Now, it had been increased to about 5 lakh square feet. He said Kashi was ‘imperishable’ and was protected by Lord Shiva. PM Modi said if India were building a Ram Temple and the Kashi Vishwanath Dham, it was also laying down thousands of kilometres of optical fiber in the sea, building millions of houses for the poor and working to send people to space. PM Modi added, “The new India has a heritage as well as development. It is not only proud of its culture but has equal belief in its capabilities.” The premises was a confluence of the ancient and a testimony to the fact that nothing was impossible if there were a firm resolve to do anything.
Modi attends Ganga aarti
Following the inauguration, PM Modi also attended the Ganga ‘aarti’ while onboard cruise boat MV Vivekananda cruise. Those who accompanied PM Modi included Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and MP, Yogi Adityanath and Shivraj Singh Chouhan, BJP president JP Nadda and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Project to boost Varanasi’s image
The inauguration takes the wraps off a long pending transformation of Hinduism’s holiest city. The visitors will no longer have to worry about running the challenge of Varanasi’s congested lanes to reach the temple. The temple is a paved 400-m long and 75-m wide corridor starting from Manikarnika, Jalasen and Lalita Ghats. Besides facilitating movement and reducing travel time, the project provides comfortable holding zones. It also looks at crowd management, a city gallery, museum, multipurpose auditoriums, and a facilitation center for pilgrims. All the important stretches have been made accessible for differently-abled people.
Those concerned with the project work say the idea behind the project was to preserve the heritage structures of the city. Along with preservation, the aim is also to provide new amenities, ease pedestrian movement, and connect the temple with the ghats.
(Rajnish is BAJMC First Year Student of Maharishi School of Journalism, MUIT Campus, Noida)