Varanasi Smart City project: Having recently been ranked among the top 20 smart cities, Varanasi has been paired up with Amritsar to pull up the level of development in the latter. The progress of all the 100 cities participating in the mission so far, was ranked by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. In an attempt to ensure that all the cities progress and achieve their goals, the Centre paired up the 20 best performing smart cities with 20 worst performing ones.
Varanasi has started several initiatives under its smart city mission, possibly because Varanasi is the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, putting the right pressure on the city authorities of leading with example. Here are some of the key initiatives which are being undertaken under the Varanasi Smart City project:
Suramya Kashi (Picturesque Kashi)
An initiative under the area-based development category, Suramya Kashi aims to rejuvenate its famous Ghats along the Ganga River and the establishment of the ‘Kashi Kala Dham’, a centre of excellence to promote and learn Hindustani Classical Music to revive the city’s famous Benaras Gharana, which led to the branding of Varanasi as the ‘City of Music’. Apart from this, the initiative also looks at restoring the face of the city and organising heritage walks, providing the facility of electric crematoriums at cremation Ghats, install signages on as many as 84 Ghats and developing the Shri Kashi Vishwanath corridor.
Nirmal Kashi (Pure Kashi)
Another area-based development initiative, Nirmal Kashi focuses on redevelopment and landscaping of smart parks, developing and beautifying ponds, sewage management system, rejuvenation of the Mandakini Kund and development and construction of Kanha Upvan, which would be a gaushala. This initiative also includes the re-development of wards of Old Kashi.