“We want to take development to new heights. In the coming days, be it Rail, Road or Electricity - we’re working on to make these available for the people in a modern way. If these services are developed, then society, with its own strength can touch skies of development.” - Narendra Modi
It is the result of this thinking of PM Narendra Modi that the emphasis is on infrastructure in his constituency of Varanasi. Everything from roads to railway stations, water-ways and airways is getting equal attention. A network of roads is being laid up here for the past two and a half years. Construction and widening of the main roads connecting Varanasi is being carried with an expense of Rs. 8014.57 Crores. Out of this amount, Rs. 7000 Crores is being spent on the widening of national highways connecting Varanasi to Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Gorakhpur, Aurangabad and other nearby cities which includes many new flyovers, bridges and bypasses to be constructed.
Widening and beautification of the road from Babatpur airport to Kachehri is being done with an expense of Rs. 753.57 Crores. Varanasi ring road is also being constructed. Along with this, widening of 125 KM stretch of Varanasi-Hanumanaha road is also being carried out.
Development of waterway is also being done alongside the roadways in Varanasi, which is planned with an expenditure of Rs. 381 crores. In phase-1, 1380 Km long waterway is being developed from Haldia to Varanasi, which is planned to accommodate a multi-model terminal worth Rs. 211 crore, a river information system worth Rs. 100 crore, a night navigation system with a corpus of Rs. 50 crore and Ro-Ro Crossing worth Rs. 20 crore.
Railway is working here on large scale. With a cost of Rs. 1105.25 crores, railways are carrying out the work to improve all stations and provide civil facilities. Moreover, 17 pair of trains has started operating from here.
The air services and facilities for travellers have been improved at the Babatpur airport. Additional check-in counters have been set-up and additional boarding gates have been created here. Direct flights from Varanasi to Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar and Bengaluru have started operating. The Airport is being expanded to facilitate take-off of bigger aircrafts from here.
Kashi and culture are the two names of the same energy: PM Modi
September 23, 2023
Inaugurates 16 Atal Awasiya Vidyalayas
“Efforts like Kashi Sansad Sanskritik Mahotsav strengthen the cultural vibrancy of this ancient city”
With the blessings of Mahadev, Kashi is scripting unprecedented dimensions of development”
“Kashi and culture are the two names of the same energy”
“Music flows in every corner of Kashi, after all, this is the city of Natraj himself
“When I came here in 2014, the dream of development and heritage of Kashi that I had imagined is now slowly coming true”
“Varanasi has been a center of learning for centuries due its all inclusive spirit”
“I want the culture of tourist guides to flourish in Kashi and Tourist Guides of Kashi to be the most respected in the world”
Har Har Mahadev!
Uttar Pradesh's popular Chief Minister, Shri Yogi Adityanath ji, all esteemed guests on the stage, fellow participants of the Kashi Sansad Sanskritik Mahotsav, and my dear fellow residents of Kashi present at the Rudraksh Centre!
With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Kashi's fame is reaching new heights today. Bharat has raised its flag high on the world stage through the G20 Summit, but the discussion about Kashi is special. Kashi's service, flavour, culture, and music... Everyone who came to Kashi as a guest for the G20 took it back with them in their memories. I believe that the incredible success of G20 has been made possible due to Lord Shiva's blessings.
Kashi is now witnessing unprecedented dimensions of development due to Baba’s grace. Do you feel it too or not? If you speak up, only then I will get to know. Do you think what I'm saying is true? Are you witnessing changes? Is Kashi shining? Is Kashi's fame spreading worldwide?
Today, I have inaugurated the International Cricket Stadium in Banaras, and I have just had the opportunity to inaugurate 16 Atal Awasiya Vidyalayas in Uttar Pradesh. I congratulate the people of Kashi for all these achievements. I congratulate the people of Uttar Pradesh and my labourer families.
My family members,
When I became an MP from here in 2014, I had a vision for Kashi. Today that dream of development and heritage is gradually becoming a reality. Even amidst the hustle and bustle of Delhi, I was constantly checking the developments at your Kashi Sansad Sanskritik Mahotsav, and even when I arrived late at night, I would take out a few minutes to watch videos to see what was going on. I saw your presentations, which were very impressive - fantastic music, fantastic performances! I am proud that as a Member of Parliament, I had the opportunity to connect directly with so many talents in this region, on this land through the Kashi Sansad Sanskritik Mahotsav. And this event has only been happening for a year now, but still, nearly 40,000 people, artists, and lakhs of spectators came to enjoy it in person. I believe that this cultural festival will become a distinct identity of Kashi in the coming years with the efforts of the people of Banaras. Its popularity is going to increase so much that everyone will write that they participated in this competition, that they received a prize in it. And the world will also ask, "Oh, you were among the top in that? Come, you don't need an interview; you're already hired." It is going to happen. Very soon, Kashi will also become a new attraction for tourists from all over the world.
My family members,
Kashi and its culture are two names for the same thing, two names for the same energy. You cannot separate them. And Kashi has earned the pride of being the cultural capital of the country. In every alley of Kashi, songs resonate. This is natural because this is the city of Lord Nataraja, and all dance forms have originated from the Tandava of Nataraja. All musical notes are born from Lord Shiva's ‘damaru’. All art forms have taken birth from Baba's thoughts. These arts and forms were organized and developed by great sages and other ancient scholars. Kashi means "Seven times and nine festivals". Therefore, no festival can be complete without music and dance. Whether it's a household gathering or Budhwa Mangal, whether it's Bharat Milap or Nag Nathaiya, whether it's Sankat Mochan's musical celebration or Dev Deepawali, here everything is immersed in melodies.
In Kashi, as glorious as the tradition of classical music is, the folk music here is equally extraordinary. Here, you find the tabla, the shehnai, and the sitar as well. Here, the tunes of the sarangi resound, and the vina is played. Kashi has preserved various forms such as Khayal, Thumri, Dadra, Chaiti, and Kajri for centuries. Through generations and guru-disciple traditions, families have kept this sweet soul of Bharat ndia alive. It includes the musicians from Telia, Piyari, and Ramapura-Kabir Chaura mohallas in Banaras. This heritage is so rich in itself! Banaras has produced many artists who have left their mark on the world. If I start mentioning all their names, it might take days. Many globally renowned names are present here right before us. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and spend time with many such cultural gurus of Banaras.
Today, the Kashi Saansad Khel Pratiyogita portal has been launched here. Whether it's the Saansad Khel Pratiyogita or the Sansad Sanskritik Mahotsav, this is the beginning of new traditions in Kashi. Now, we will also organize the Kashi Sansad Gyan Pratiyogita. The effort is to increase awareness about Kashi's history, its rich heritage, its festivals, and its cuisine. The Sansad Gyan Pratiyogita will also be held at different levels in urban and rural areas of Banaras.
The people of Kashi know the most about Kashi, and every individual, every family here, in the truest sense, is a brand ambassador for Kashi. But at the same time, it is also essential that everyone can communicate their knowledge about Kashi effectively. That's why perhaps for the first time in the country, I have a desire in my heart to start something here. Now, will everyone join in? You may not know what I am going to say, but you already said yes to it. You see, any tourist place, any pilgrimage site today requires the best guides. The guide should be knowledgeable, perfect in terms of information, not vague. It should not be like that one will say Kashi is 200 years old, whereas somebody else will say it’s 250 years old, and another will say it’s 300 years old, whereas it's actually 240. This power should be in Kashi. And nowadays, being a tourist guide is also becoming a significant source of employment, because the tourist who comes here wants to know everything, and he also wants to pay the tourist guide. So, that's why I have a desire, and I am trying to start it. We will now organize the Kashi Saansad Tourist Guide competition. You become a guide, explain things to people, and earn rewards. This way, people will know that a culture of guides is developing in this city. I want to do this work because I want the name of my Kashi to resonate worldwide. I want that if someone talks about a guide anywhere in the world, the name of Kashi's guides should be taken with the utmost respect. I appeal to all the residents of Kashi to start preparing from now and actively participate in this initiative.
My family members,
Banaras has been a centre of education for centuries. The most significant foundation of Banaras' educational success is its all-inclusive nature. People from all corners of the country and the world come here for their studies. Even today, people from many countries come here to learn Sanskrit and acquire knowledge. Today, with this sentiment in mind, we have inaugurated Atal Awasiya (Residential) Vidyalayas here. The inauguration of these Atal Awasiya Vidyalayas involved an expenditure of approximately 1100 crores of rupees. These schools are meant for the sons and daughters of our labourers, the weakest section of our society. Through this initiative, they will receive good education, values, and modern education. The children of those who lost their lives to COVID-19 will also be provided free education in these Atal Awasiya Vidyalayas. I have been informed that there will also be teachers for music, arts, crafts, computers, and sports in these schools, in addition to the regular curriculum. This means that even underprivileged children will now be able to fulfil their dreams of quality and holistic education. And similarly, we have built Eklavya Awasiya Schools for the children of the tribal community. Through the new National Education Policy, we have also changed the old thinking of the education system. Now our schools are becoming modern. Classes are getting smarter. The Government has also launched the PM-Shri Abhiyan to modernize thousands of schools in the country. Under this campaign, thousands of schools in the country are being equipped with modern technology.
As an MP, I am receiving full support in all the new initiatives that are being launched in Kashi. These Atal Awasiya Vidyalayas have been meant for children of the construction workers whose education gets affected as their parents move from one village to another for livelihood. A budget is earmarked for the well-being of their children. You see, those who don't have any intention to gain immediate political benefits, who don't have selfish motives, how they work. And those, who are always preoccupied with elections and play the game of securing votes by any means, waste this money. You will get to know if you try to gather information in this regard. These funds are with all the states, and the Central government has given them full autonomy. But most states are using these funds in order to secure votes. I had discussed this with Yogi ji a long time ago. He had decided that these children would be prepared in such a way so that their families would no longer have to resort to work as labourers. I just met some children from Atal Awasiya Vidyalayas, they were from labourer families, who had never seen a pucca house before. But I was surprised to see the self-confidence in them in such a short time. I would also like to congratulate their teachers. The confidence with which they were speaking and the way they were addressing the Prime Minister, asking questions, I was able to see the spark and potential in these children. I firmly believe and you will also see the transformation and progress of Uttar Pradesh and Kashi through these schools within 10 years.
My dear residents of Kashi,
May you continue to bless me in this way! With this sentiment, thank you all very much!