Administration and municipal officials from Varanasi will soon go on a tour of Japan to study how to develop the holy city as a ‘Smart City’ on the lines of Kyoto. The tour to Kyoto — from April 19 to 24 — is being organised by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD).
Varanasi is the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had visited Japan last year and signed a pact with Japanese premier Shinzo Abe to turn Varanasi into a ‘smart city’. Under the smart heritage cities programme, Kyoto will provide cooperation in the fields of conservation and modernisation of cities as well as art, culture and academics.
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Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa had also given a presentation on Kyoto’s transition from an old historic city to a modern and clean city of the 21st century while maintaining its heritage. Later in October, Kyoto Deputy Mayor Kenichi Ogasawara had visited Varanasi to collect basic details about the city. After PM’s visit to Japan last year, this will be first delegation to visit Kyoto.
Varanasi Mayor Ram Gopal Mohle will lead the delegation comprising MoUD Joint Secretary Praveen Prakash, Varanasi Divisional Commissioner R M Srivastava, District Magistrate Pranjal Yadav and Municipal Commissioner Umakant Tripathi.
“During the tour, we will learn how Kyoto was developed and how can Varanasi be developed on the same lines,” Mohle said. He added that the delegation will go to Japan with a report of the basic infrastructure available in Varanasi, the heritage places and what is needed to develop it as a smart city.
“The action plan that MoUD has prepared for the integrated development of Varanasi and other developments works that UP government has proposed for the city will also be discussed with Kyoto municipal officials,” said Tripathi.