As reported, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate two major national highways, which spread to a total length of 34 km, and an inland waterways project in Varanasi.
The two roads have been built at a combined cost of Rs 15.71 billion – the 16.55 km long Varanasi Ring Road Phase 1 was laid at approximately Rs 7.59 billion, and the construction of the Babatpur-Varanasi road which is 17.25 km long, has cost Rs 8.12 billion.
Reportedly, the Haldia-Varanasi stretch (National Waterway-1) is being developed at a total cost of around Rs 53.69 billion with financial and technical support from the World Bank. The funding for the project will be equally shared by the Indian Government and the World Bank. It is the first waterway terminal on Ganga and falls under the government’s Jal Marg Vikas Project which is an effort to develop the stretch for the navigation of large vessels weighing up to 1,500 to 2,000 tonne.
The scope of the entire project includes: Construction of three multi-modal terminals, river information system, two inter-modal terminals and differential global positioning system (DGPS), among other works.
The Babatpur-Varanasi road will connect Varanasi to the airport, while further connecting Jaunpur, Sultanpur and Lucknow. It is set to reduce the travel time to the airport. The ring road, on the other hand, is set to reduce the traffic in the region as well as make a difference in fuel usage and pollution on NH-56. It will also make it easier to reach the Buddhist pilgrimage site, Sarnath.