Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated development projects worth over Rs 1,200 crore at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. PM Modi, who reached Varanasi on Sunday morning, also flagged off IRCTC's Maha Kaal Express via video conferencing and dedicated Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Memorial Centre to the nation.
The train, which will start commercial service from February 20, will connect the three Jyotirling pilgrim centres of Varanasi, Ujjain and Omkareshwar.
Speaking at inauguration of Deendayal Upadhyaya's statue and other projects in Chandauli, PM Modi said, "These projects will benefit the entire Purvanchal including Banaras. The government has given top priority to roads, highways, waterways, railways, especially regarding infrastructure."
"Today when we talk about $5 trillion economy in India, tourism is an integral part of it. Besides nature, heritage tourism has a strong role to play in achieving the goal. Also, along with Varanasi other holy sites are being developed using new technologies," he said.
PM Modi also unveiled a 63-feet tall statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. The 'panchaloha' statue is the tallest statue of the leader in the country, which has been created by over 200 artisans over a year. He also dedicated Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Memorial Centre to the nation.
"This memorial (of Deendayal Upadhyaya) which has been built here and this grand statue which has been installed will continue to inspire generations to come, the ethics and thoughts of Deen Dayal Ji will inspire," Modi said.
During his day-long visit to his parliamentary constituency, PM also attended the closing ceremony of the Centenary Celebration of Jagadguru Vishwaradhya Gurukul at Jangamwadi Mutt in Varanasi. He also inaugurated the two day 'Kashi Ek Roop Anek' exhibition at Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Hastakala Sankul.
At the event, PM Modi launched the 'Shri Siddhant Shikhamani Granth' Mobile App. He said the digitisation of Shri Siddhant Shikhamani Granth via Mobile App will further strengthen the engagement with the younger generation and will also inspire their lives. He suggested conducting an annual quiz competition on topics related to Granth, via this Mobile app.
He appreciated people's contribution in creating awareness about cleanliness and taking the Swachhta Mission to each and every corner of the country. He urged them to use Made in India products. He also asked everyone to participate in Jal Jeevan mission to make it a success.
Prime Minister said a significant and visible improvement was made in cleaning the Ganga River; this, he said could be achieved only because of the public participation. He said under Namami Gange Programme, projects worth Rs 7000 crores have been completed while work on projects worth Rs 21000 crores is under progress.
Prime Minister said the government has recently announced the formation of trust- 'Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra' for the construction of Ram temple. This trust will look after the construction of the Shri Ram temple in Ayodhya. He said government has also decided to transfer 67 acres of land to the trust.
By Chitranjan Kumar