Explained: What is Kashi Vishwanath corridor project PM Modi inaugurating?
- Kashi Vishwanath corridor is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project
- PM Modi launched the project in his parliamentary consistency, Varanasi, in March 2019
- PM Modi will inaugurate phase 1 of the project, constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crore on December 13
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday will inaugurate the Kashi Vishwanath corridor connecting the ancient Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi to the ghats of the Ganga. The corridor, Modi’s pet project, has been built over an area of 5,000 hectares and seeks to not only decongest but also transform the temple complex.
The push to revamp and redevelop the Kashi Vishwanath complex is in line with the Prime Minister’s ambitious projects for temples around the country.
What is the project?
The Rs 800 crore project was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, in March 2019, with an aim of restoring the “lost glory” of the Hindu religious shrine. According to officials of the cultural ministry, renovating the Kashi Vishwanath temple has been Modi’s long-term vision. He wanted to create better conditions for pilgrims and devotees, who had to endure the infamously congested streets and surroundings of the temple.
Despite being a famous shrine, the Kashi Vishwanath temple lacked direct access to the Ganga, and the new 20-foot-wide corridor was envisaged to connect Lalita Ghat on the holy river to Mandir Chowk on the temple premises.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate phase 1 of the project, constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crore on December 13. A total of 23 buildings will be inaugurated, including a Tourist Facilitation Centre, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery and Food Court. However, it may take a few more weeks before phase 1 projects are ready to be opened for the public.
Renovation will boost tourism
The renovation of the infrastructure is expected to give a boost to tourism in Varanasi as well as in the region, including the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Sarnath. The Rudraksh Convention Centre is capable of hosting 1,200 people and has divisible meeting rooms, an art gallery, and multipurpose pre-function areas.
Road infrastructure has also been upgraded and the Banaras railway station in the city’s Manduadih area has been revamped with the addition of an air-conditioned waiting lounge. LED screens have also been installed where information will be displayed for tourists, including the history, architecture, and art of Kashi. The famous Ganga Aarti and the aarti at the Kashi Vishwanath temple will be shown on screens throughout the city.