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(Source: The Financial Express)

Infra boost for Varanasi! PM Modi to dedicate two highways and an inland waterways terminal; details here

Big day for Varanasi!

Giving a boost to the overall infrastructure sector of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to dedicate two important national highways to the nation in Varanasi today.

The total length of both the highways, constructed at a cost of Rs 1571.95 crore, is 34 kms.

Of these two major infrastructure projects, one is 16.55 km long Varanasi Ring Road Phase-I, while the other one is 17.25 km long Babatput-Varanasi road on NH-56.

The Varanasi Ring Road Phase-I project has been completed at a cost of Rs 759.36 crore, on the other hand, the Babatput-Varanasi road project has been completed at a cost of Rs 812.59 crore.

With the commencement of Babatpur Airport highway, Varanasi will be connected better to the airport. The highway will further go on to Jaunpur, Sultanpur and Lucknow.

Thus, the travel time from Varanasi to the airport will be reduced with a flyover at Harhua and a ROB at Tarna, providing a big relief to the people of Varanasi as well as to tourists and visitors to the city.

The Varanasi Ring Road along with two ROBs and a flyover will provide a way for traffic on NH 56 (Lucknow-Varanasi), NH 29 (Gorakhpur-Varanasi), NH 233 (Azamgarh-Varanasi) and Ayodhya-Varanasi highways to bypass the city. Therefore, it will minimize traffic congestion in Varanasi. Moreover, the travel time, fuel usage as well as pollution in the area will be reduced.

Interestingly, it will also provide easier access to Sarnath, which is an important site for Buddhist pilgrimage. According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, both these projects will increase employment opportunities and will lead to the development of small and medium industries. Additionally, the projects will also give a boost to economic development in the area.

To link Varanasi to other places in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, at present, there are NH projects of total length 2833 km underway, worth Rs 63,885 crore. Out of these projects, fifteen are of 1143 km length and are under various stages of construction, including Varanasi-Sultanpur, Varanasi-Jaunpur, Varanasi Ghaghra Bridge, Varanasi-Azamgarh, Sultanpur-Lucknow among others. An amount of Rs 3,0227 crore is likely to be spent on these road projects.

Other than these highways, there are seven targeted projects of total length of 235 km, worth Rs 8,265 crore. Additionally, as many as twenty projects are in DPR stage for building 1455 km roads at a cost of Rs 25,323 crore.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister will also dedicate an inland waterways terminal to the nation on river Ganga in Varanasi. The project is the first of the four multi-modal terminal projects being built on NW-I as part of the Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India, aided by the World Bank.

According to the ministry, the terminal would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT on river Ganga. He will also receive India’s first container consignment (post independence), containing cargo of the food and beverage company Pepsico on inland waterways vessel.

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