“It is a very significant day as Kashi’s new journey of possibilities has started today. In the last eight years, the entire world has witnessed how India is evolving under the leadership of PM,” said Yogi in his address at a function organised at Ravidas Ghat to mark flagging off the cruise and inauguration of the tent city by the PM through video conferencing.
Yogi, who began his address with the chant of Har Har Mahadev, said: “Now, Kashi, the oldest city and famous as the spiritual and cultural capital of India, is presenting itself on the global stage in a new form while maintaining its ancient soul.”
“It is a historic day not only for Kashi and Uttar Pradesh, but also for Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam,” he said. “Being a landlocked state, UP used to yearn for the days when exporting its agricultural and MSME products to outside markets didn’t have to be so expensive. It worried the business fraternity for decades,” he said while expressing gratitude to the PM for the work done in the last three years to connect Kashi with the eastern port.
Mentioning how Kashi Vishwanath Dham has increased the number of tourists and devotees in the holy city, he said, “Along with this, new doors of possibilities have also opened. The advance booking of the Ganga Vilas River Cruise for the next two years is an example of this. Today, Kashi is moving forward with a new identity. Due to this, the vision of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat‘ is also gaining strength.”
Yogi said that today’s programme demonstrates Namami Gange’s new level of success. Before 2014, people were hesitant even to take a bath in the Ganga, he said adding, the world witnessed the success of work done to make Ganga free of pollution during Prayagraj Kumbh in 2019.
A change in the lives of boatmen of Kashi is also evident as their over 1,600 boats were equipped with CNG engines. Now, the earnings of boatmen in a season is greater than what they used to earn in a year. This is not only the success of the Namami Ganga project, but also shows the self-reliance of boatmen, he added.