Regarded as India’s spiritual capital, Varanasi is being beautified under the old Kashi rejuvenation project worth Rs 80 crore. Work is on to give the city’s narrow lanes a retro look along with smart facilities. Six wards—Dashashwamedh, Jangamwadi, Kameshwar Mahadev, Kaal Bhairav, Rajmandir and Garhwasi Tola—will get a facelift as part of this project. Lanes in these wards will get theme-based wall paintings showcasing the culture of Kashi while dilapidated square stones will be replaced with new ones.
New underground water supply pipelines and sewerage lines will also be laid, work for which is already in progress. Each lane will have duct chambers so that in future, electricity lines and water supply line could be laid without damaging the square stones and water/sewage pipelines. Roughly, there are around 400 lanes, including sub-lanes, in Kashi. Hundred of these are prominent ones, said officials.
The estimated cost of rejuvenation and developmental work for Kaal Bhairav ward comes to Rs 16.24 crore while Kameshwar Mahadev ward will get a facelift at a cost of Rs 17.09 crore. Jangamwadi ward has been allotted Rs 12.65 crore, Rs 16.22 crore for Dashashwamedh ward. Rajmandir ward and Garhwasi Tola ward projects will be carried out for Rs 13.53 crore and Rs 9.60 crore respectively.
The deadline for the completion of work in Kaal Bhairav ward, Kameshwar Mahadev ward and Rajmandir ward is September 2021, while work in Jangamwadi and Dashashwamedh wards will be completed by December 2021.
“Work is already in progress at Dashashwamedh ward. Sewage and water supply pipelines are being replaced with new ones. At a time, work is being undertaken in a few lanes. As soon as the work is completed in these lanes, the same will be done for the next set of lanes,” said an officer of the Varanasi Nagar Nigam associated with the project.
Temporary pipelines have been installed as an alternative arrangement so that locals and tourists don’t face any inconvenience, the officer said.
Chief executive officer, Smart City (Varanasi) project and municipal commissioner Gaurang Rathi said, “The project is aimed at beautifying and rejuvenating the ancient look of the lanes in six wards of the ancient city. Various developmental works would be carried out. Work has already started under the project in certain areas.”
“The lanes will have theme-based wall paintings and new square stones. Rejuvenation will conserve the lanes and attract tourists from across the world,” he said.