Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first phase of the Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, his Parliamentary constituency, ANI reported.
The work on the 400-metre corridor, which connects the Kashi Vishwanath temple to the banks of Ganga river, started in 2019, according to The Hindu. A total of 23 buildings will be inaugurated in the first phase, ANI reported. More than 300 properties have been acquired for the project.
However, the steps and the ghat (river embankment) will take another two months to complete, said the project’s architect, Bimal Patel, according to The Hindu.
At the inauguration ceremony, Modi urged people to take three resolutions on “cleanliness, creation and continuous efforts for self-reliant India”.
He said that the Kashi Vishwanath temple was earlier 3,000 square feet in size, but has now been expanded to about 5 lakh square feet. The prime minister said this would allow about 50,000-75,000 devotees to visit the temple at once.
“The dedication of Kashi Vishwanath Dham will give a decisive direction to India and will lead to a brighter future,” Modi said. “This complex is a witness of our capability and our duty. With determination and concerted thought, nothing is impossible.”
Earlier on Monday, the prime minister visited a temple in Varanasi and interacted with people in the city.
“I am overwhelmed,” Modi tweeted in Hindi on Monday morning. “In some time, we will witness the inauguration of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham project. Before this, I did darshan of Kaal Bhairav [an incarnation of Hindu deity Shiva], the Kotwal of Kashi.”
The Kashi Vishwanath corridor is being inaugurated months ahead of the 2020 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled to be held in February-March next year.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday claimed that his government, which was in power in Uttar Pradesh between 2012 and 2017, had approved the Kashi Vishwanath corridor, PTI reported.
“Just so that the public does not any questions, they are inaugurating the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor,” PTI reported. “If there is a Cabinet which passed the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, it was the Samajwadi Party’s government.”
Yadav said that he was ready to produce documents to prove his claim.