Pilgrims will be able to reach Allahabad by 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 Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“The Allahabad to Varanasi stretch will be developed as a national waterway, which will service steamers for transportation of pilgrims,” Gadkari said. “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,” the minister said.
Gadkari also promised to upgrade and augment the 76 km of road servicing 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 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,” Adityanath said.
“In UP, Eastern UP and Bundelkhand are 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,” he said.
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 Lucknow,” he said, thanking Gadkari for heeding the plight of the people in UP “with an open heart”.
Adityanath also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his third meeting since he became Chief Minister. The meeting comes at a time UP has decided to waive off loans of small and marginal farmers, which is being hailed in BJP circles at a time when farmer agitations have hit some other BJP states.