Modi, Akhilesh Yadav walk extra mile to develop Kashi-Kyoto partnership

  • Umesh Raghuvanshi, Hindustan Times, Lucknow
  • Updated: Sep 08, 2014 22:15 IST

Before his flight took off for Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up chief minister Akhilesh Yadav informing him about his ambitious plan of signing a partnership pact with Kyoto for the development of ancient city Kashi, also his parliament constituency.

Reciprocating the gesture, the chief minister also assured him all the cooperation. Both did not allow their ideological differences to mar the spirit with which the pact was later inked.

The chief minister shared the conversation with his senior ministers later at the cabinet meeting.

“Yes, Modi called up the chief minister on telephone to take the latter into confidence on the project of bringing the two cities (Kashi and Kyoto) closer before boarding the flight,” said a senior cabinet minister.

Now, the chief minister has directed the officials to prepare a separate project for the cleaning of Ganga.

“Chief minister has asked the officials to work out a clean Ganga project which will be soon sent to to the Centre,” said a senior officer without sharing the details of the state government’s project. “This will however be an independent project and has nothing to do with the Centre’s clean Ganga project,” he said.

The CM has also sought details of the smart heritage city project.

This is not for the first time that the chief minister has decided to cooperate with the Prime Minister.

His government had recently issued instructions to make arrangements in schools to enable the students watch the Prime Minister’s Teachers Day address live. The state government had allowed use of laptops (distributed to students) to watch the Prime Minister’s address.

Meanwhile the state government has already undertaken a number of other projects to give a facelift to the temple town which includes widening the approach roads and decongesting the area around Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The focus is also on the beautification of temple complex, laying of underground power cables, installation of solar lights and renovation of the ghats.

The state government has been making efforts to launch air services between Lucknow and Varanasi. It had earlier sent a Rs 21 crore project to the Centre to carry out the work of laying underground electric cables, installation of solar lights, beautification of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple area complex and renovation of various ‘ghats’ for development of tourism in Varanasi.

The centre had sanctioned a sum of Rs 18 crore for these tourism development projects in 2013-2014.

Meanwhile the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee has been asked to conduct a stress test on the foundation and the structure of the 18th century Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi to make an assessment whether the temple had strength to bear the burden of the ‘gold plating’ proposed on the temple’s spires.

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