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Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated phase 1 of the Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor in Uttar Pradesh's ancient city Varanasi. Before inaugurating the corridor, Prime Minister Modi greeted the labourers who were involved in the construction of the project with flowers. 

He expressed his gratitude to all the labourers who worked hard in the construction of the grand complex despite the challenges posed by Covid.

Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said earlier the temple area was only three thousand square feet but now has become 5 lakh square feet. “Now 50 to 75 thousand devotees including senior citizens and Divyangs can come to the temple easily," he said.

He also said that the whole new complex of Baba Vishwanath Dham is not just a grand building, but also a symbol of the Sanatan culture of India. “It is a symbol of our spiritual soul, it is a symbol of India's antiquity and traditions," he added.

The Prime Minister, who is on a two-day visit to his Lok Sabha constituency, offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and planted a Rudraksha tree at the premises of the temple. He offered 'Ganga jal', chandan, ashes and milk to Lord Shiva at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. He arrived at the temple on Alaknanda cruise, a double-decker boat and took a holy dip in the River Ganga.

Kashi Vishwanath Corridor Project

The Prime Minister's vision was to facilitate the pilgrims and devotees, who had to encounter congested streets and surroundings with poor upkeep, when they practiced the age-old custom of taking dip in the holy river, collecting Gangajal and offering it at the Baba Vishwanath temple. 

To realise this vision, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham was conceptualised as a project to create an easily accessible pathway to connect Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple to the banks of the River Ganga. The foundation stone of the project was laid by the Prime Minister on 8th March 2019.

Prime Minister Modi today inaugurated phase 1 of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Dham, constructed at a cost of around 339 crores. A total of 23 buildings were inaugurated in phase 1 of the project. 

They (buildings) will provide a variety of facilities to the pilgrims visiting Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, including Yatri Suvidha Kendras, Tourist Facilitation Centre, Vedic Kendra, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery, Food Court, among others.

The project is now spread over a massive area of about 5 lakh square feet, whereas earlier premises was limited to just around 3000 square feet.

The project involved purchase and acquisitions of more than 300 properties around Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The rehabilitation of around 1400 shopkeepers, tenants and homeowners were done amicably. 

The testimony of the success is the fact that there is no litigation pending in any court of the country regarding acquisitions or rehabilitation related to the development of the project.

The Prime Minister’s vision was also to ensure that all heritage structures be preserved during the course of development of the project. During the process of destruction of the old properties, more than 40 ancient temples were rediscovered. These temples have been restored and beautified, while ensuring that there is no change in the original structure.

Later in the day, the Prime Minister will witness Ganga Aarti while on board a Ro-Ro Vessel at around 6 PM. Tomorrow, at around 3:30 PM, he will attend the 98th anniversary celebrations of Sadguru Sadafaldeo Vihangam Yog Sansthan at Swarved Mahamandir in Varanasi. 

During the two-day visit, the Prime Minister will also participate in a conclave of Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, along with Deputy CMs from Bihar and Nagaland. The conclave will provide an opportunity to share governance related best practices and is in line with the PM's vision of furthering team India spirit.

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