Pilgrims will be able to reach Allahabad by passenger steamers through the Ganga waterway from Varanasi for the 2019 Kumbh Mela, Union Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday in the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Kumbh is likely to see 15 crore pilgrims in 2019. “The Allahabad to Varanasi stretch will be developed as a national waterway, which will service steamers for transportation of pilgrims,” Gadkari told mediapersons in New Delhi. “We will press into service some steamers and I will urge the state government to tie up with private players to operate steamers in the route in 2019,” he added.
Gadkari also promised to upgrade and augment the 76 km of road for the Kumbh in 2019. Adityanath met Gadkari along with senior officials of the Uttar Pradesh public works department to seek the Centre’s push for the ongoing road projects. He said his government had inherited 1.21 lakh km potholed roads. “With the Centre’s cooperation, all roads will now be upgraded and each and every village will have pucca roads,” he added.
The meeting sorted out new projects worth Rs 10,000 crore from the central road fund, Adityanath said. “In UP, eastern UP and Bundelkhand were economically backward. This is the first time that we have approved a six-lane expressway for Bundelkhand from Tiruwa to Jhansi via the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. Six lanes will be built till Jhansi and from there, it will be four lane via Trikoot to Allahabad. The project has been given the in-principle nod and a detailed project report will be ready soon,” he added.
Besides, a consensus has been reached to construct a ring road for all major cities in UP, including Allahabad, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Bareilly, Kanpur, Moradabad and Meerut, he said. “Seven important highways have been approved for the state capital Lucknow,” Adityanath said, thanking Gadkari for heeding the plight of the people in UP “with an open heart”.
“Many projects were pending for years and were not moving. This meeting has resulted in rolling out of these,” he said while adding that 73 state highways — totalling 6,260 km – will be converted into national highways soon. Besides, 15 state highways will also be converted into national highways, said the CM.
UP CM discusses Saharanpur clashes with Modi
Yogi Adityanath on Monday met the Prime Minister — his third meeting with Narendra Modi ever since he became UP chief minister. Besides UP government’s decision to waive off loans worth Rs 36,359 crore of farmers, the recent caste violence in Saharanpur and the upcoming two-day visit of Prime Minister to UP for International Yoga Day celebrations are learnt to have been discussed during the meeting.