The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today described Varanasi as an important part of India`s heritage, and underlined his resolve to restore it to its position of global pre-eminence. He was interacting with leading citizens from various strata of society in Varanasi. He said he is talking to and receiving suggestions from a lot of people in this regard. 

The Prime Minister gave examples of the redevelopment of London post World War 2, which retained its original character; and the redevelopment of Bhuj post the 2001 earthquake. He said Kashi needs similar renewal. 

Ruling out any big announcements, the Prime Minister mentioned some key elements of his vision for Varanasi`s renewal: 

Making Banaras Hindu University a wi-fi university; modernizing it and placing it alongside the best universities of the world. 

Separate toilets for boys and girls in schools. 

Cleaning of the Ganga using latest technology. 

Provision of clean drinking water. 

Modernization of the Ganga ghats ensuring dignity of women. 

Creating a contemporary ambience and feel for the Ganga aarti, using modern lighting. 

Running a special "Palace on wheels" train for Kashi. 

Small battery operated cars for Kashi. 

Solid waste management for the town. 

Enough seating for everyone at Varanasi railway station. 

Modern restrooms in public places. 

Solar lighting in public places. 

Creating a global market for handlooms and handicrafts using e-commerce. 

Free emergency ambulance service. 

The Prime Minister remarked that thanks to modern tools of communication, he had perhaps received more support than even Mahatma Gandhi for the Swachhta Abhiyaan. He said awareness is growing among people. An atmosphere is being created where people will start hating dirt. 

The Prime Minister said that on the basis of his experience over the last six months, he sees no reason why the country should remain where it is today. Noting that the whole world is looking to India today, he said it is up to India to take best advantage of the situation. 

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January 19, 2017
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