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India

Updated on: Monday, December 13, 2021, 01:58 PM IST

Watch Video: PM Modi inaugurates phase 1 of Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Varanasi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated phase 1 of the newly-constructed Kashi Vishwanath Dham in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The project is constructed at a cost of around Rs 339 crores.

Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said that the Kashi Vishwanath Dham project will add to Kashi's spiritual vibrancy.

A total of 23 buildings were inaugurated in the phase 1 of the project. These buildings provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, including Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery, Food Court, among others.

PM Modi also visited Kaal Bhairav Temple at around 12 noon and will witness Ganga Aarti while onboard a Ro-Ro Vessel at around 6 PM on December 13. On December 14, at around 3:30 PM, PM Modi will attend the 98th-anniversary celebrations of Sadguru Sadafaldeo Vihangam Yog Sansthan at Swarved Mahamandir in Varanasi.

As per the PMO, it was the vision of the Prime Minister for a long time, to facilitate the pilgrims and devotees of Baba Vishwanath, who had to encounter congested streets and surroundings with poor upkeep, when they practiced the age-old custom of taking dip in the holy river, collecting Gangajal and offering it at the temple.

To realise this vision, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham was conceptualised as a project to create an easily accessible pathway to connect Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple to the banks of the River Ganga. To kickstart the work for this pious endeavour, the foundation stone of the project was laid by the Prime Minister on March 8, 2019, PMO said.

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"The Prime Minister took a keen and active interest at all stages of the project. Regular briefings, reviews and monitoring was done by the Prime Minister himself, and he constantly gave inputs and insights to improve the project and make it more accessible for pilgrims, including for the disabled. The project was designed to provide easy access for the disabled and old age people with the provision of ramps, escalators, and other modern facilities," PMO said.

The project involved the purchase and acquisition of more than 300 properties around Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple. "The Prime Minister's vision to take everyone along was the principle based on which mutual negotiations were done for these acquisitions. In this endeavour, the rehabilitation of around 1400 shopkeepers, tenants and homeowners were done amicably. The testimony of the success is the fact that there is no litigation pending in any court of the country regarding acquisitions or rehabilitation related to the development of the project," PMO said in the statement.

The Prime Minister's vision was also to ensure that all heritage structures be preserved during the course of development of the project. This foresight came handy when, during the process of destruction of the old properties, more than 40 ancient temples were rediscovered. These temples have been restored and beautified, while ensuring that there is no change in the original structure, PMO added.

The PMO in the statement said that the scale of the project was such that the project is now spread over a massive area of about 5 lakh square feet, whereas earlier premises was limited to just around 3000 square feet. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the work on the project has been completed as per the planned schedule.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published on: Monday, December 13, 2021, 01:51 PM IST
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