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Will restore Varanasi's global pre-eminence, says Narendra Modi

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday described Varanasi as an important part of India's heritage, and underlined his resolve to restore it to its position of global pre-eminence.

He was interacting with leading citizens from various strata of the society in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency.

Narendra ModiNarendra Modi

Modi said he was seeking and receiving suggestions from a lot of people about his resolve to restore Varanasi's global stature and announced his intention to start a "Palace of Wheels" train to Varanasi.

The prime minister gave examples of the redevelopment of London after World War II and of development of Bhuj after the 2001 earthquake, and said "Kashi (Varanasi) needs similar renewal".

Not making any big announcements, Modi mentioned some key elements of his vision for Varanasi's renewal and development.

He said he was keen on making the Banaras Hindu University a wi-fi university, modernising it and making it among the best universities of the world.

Other elements of his vision include separate toilets for boys and girls in schools, cleaning of the Ganga using latest technology, provision of clean drinking water and modernising Ganga ghats and ensuring dignity of women.

His vision for Varanasi also includes small battery operated cars, solid waste management for the town, creating a global market for handloom and handicraft using e-commerce, modern restrooms in public places, solar lighting in public places and emergency ambulance service and ensuring "seating for everyone at Varanasi railway station".

Modi said he was keen on modern lighting for Ganga aarti (worship) and creating a contemporary ambience and feel.

The prime minister said that due to modern tools of communication, he had perhaps received more support for the cleanliness drive than even Mahatma Gandhi.

He said awareness was growing among people and an atmosphere was being created where people will work for cleanliness.

Noting that the whole world was looking to India today, he said it was up to India to take best advantage of the situation.

Modi said he sees no reason why the country should remain where it is today.

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