Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Shelved for a decade, Varuna corridor project gets state attention

Written by Lalmani Verma | Lucknow | Posted: July 1, 2014 4:35 am | Updated: July 1, 2014 4:38 am

The state government has decided to revive the Varuna corridor river project in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency. Under the project, a riverfront will be developed along the Varuna river on the lines of Sabarmati riverfront project of Gujarat.

The corridor will stretch from Aadkeshav ghat near Sangam to Phulwariya area.

Following a revision, the state government will send the plan proposal to the Centre for holding discussion on the project’s implementation and funding.

An official informed that under the project, landscape will be developed which would include walking tracks with space for amusement activities, public utilities and stalls for eateries. In the river belt, activities like movement of motor boats and small-size ships would also begin.

To make these facilities available, a water level of 2-metre depth would be maintained in 45-metre width and 18-km length of the river. Water level will be maintained by dredging and installing regulators and lock channels at different locations. Five terminals have been proposed to come up in the stretch with the entire area to be kept clean by keeping a check on discharge of untreated waste.

According to officials, the project was first planned around a decade ago and Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) had forwarded the proposal to the state government. Sources say that Inland Waterways Authority of India of the central government had found it feasible but the state government put the Rs 172-crore project on the back burner.

For the revival, a detailed presentation was made last week before Varanasi district magistrate Pranjal Yadav, who is also officiating VDA vice-chairman at present.

When contacted, Yadav said, “The project was first prepared around 8-9 years ago. Varuna corridor will be developed like Sabarmati riverfront project.” The DM also said that VDA has been directed to revise the project keeping in mind the present condition of the river belt and the structures existing around it. He confirmed that the revised plan will soon be forwarded to the state government.

VDA officials said that Varuna corridor will be an additional attraction for the tourists who stay in hotels and lodges along the Ganga river. Officials added that corridor will be developed in a way that tourists could easily reach the Varuna corridor by motor boats. The project cost is slated to be increased in the revised plan, they said.

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