Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the people on Monday the ambitious Kashi Vishwanath Corridor in the heart of Varanasi, a mega-project that is expected to boost tourism in the ancient city in a big way. The inauguration of the state-of-the-art infrastructure surrounding the historic Kashi Vishwanath Temple near the iconic Dashashwamedh Ghat comes ahead of the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh early next year. Varanasi is PM Modi's Lok Sabha constituency.
When PM Modi came to Kashi to fill his nomination for elections, he said the now immortal lines “न मैं यहाँ आया हूँ न यहाँ लाया गया हूँ मुझे माँ गंगा ने बुलाया है।” (I have neither come here, nor I have been brought... it's Godesses Ganga who has called me here).
Being a lifelong dream of PM Modi to contribute towards helping Kashi Vishwanath Mandir attain the aura of the past, the Prime Minister embarked on the journey of the development of Kashi Vishwanath Corridor.
One of the main objectives of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor development project was to revive the age-old tradition of devotees coming to Banaras, taking a holy dip in the river Ganga, carrying the Gangajal (holy water) to offer to God at the temple. Though people still use to do it due to rampant construction, the tradition was losing its charm.
What PM Modi said during the ground-breaking occasion in 2019
On the pious occasion of laying of the foundation stone of the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project on 8th March 2019, PM Modi had said, "I don't know, maybe Lord Shiva (Bhole Baba) must have decided, sons talk a lot... so it may be Bhole Baba's order or blessings that this dream is starting to come true. (“पता नहीं शायद भोले बाबा ने तय किया होगा, बेटे बातें बहुत करते हो, आओ इधर करके दिखाओ। और शायद भोले बाबा का आदेश कहो, आशीर्वाद कहो कि आज वो सपना साकार होने का शुभारंभ हो रहा है।”
At the time of conceptualization, the project faced many challenges, considering the topography of the area, and the dense presence of the population residing there as every inch of space was covered with one structure or the other.
It faced hurdles like the acquisition of properties but PM Modi instructed officials to ensure that everyone is taken along through constant dialogue.
Site before Transformation
The extent of the challenge that was overcome can be ascertained through these before and after pics. This is how the site looked in 2017.