Varanasi to get a national highway boost! On November 12, two national highways at a total length of 34 kilometres and constructed at a cost of Rs 1,571.95 crore will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi. The Varanasi Ring Road Phase-I, covering a distance of 16.55 km has been completed at a cost of Rs 759.36 crore, while the work of four-laning as well as the construction of Babatput-Varanasi road, covering a distance of 17.25 km on NH-56 has cost Rs 812.59 crore. According to PTI, the Babatpur Airport highway will connect Varanasi to the airport and will further go on to Jaunpur, Sultanpur and Lucknow. Also, the road will reduce the travel time from Varanasi to the airport, with a flyover at Harhua and a railway overbridge (ROB) at Tarna.
A statement released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said that the Ring Road along with two ROBs and a flyover will provide a way for traffic on NH 56 connecting Lucknow-Varanasi, NH 233 connecting Azamgarh-Varanasi, NH 29 connecting Gorakhpur-Varanasi and Ayodhya-Varanasi highways to bypass Varanasi city. The statement also claimed that it will reduce traffic congestion in the city, travel time, fuel usage as well as pollution in the area. Also, the ring road will give more convenient access to Sarnath, which is an important site for Buddhist pilgrimage.
According to the ministry, the projects will also provide development of small and medium industries, increased employment opportunities, and will also give a boost to economic development in the area.
At present, there are NH projects of total length 2,833 km, worth Rs 63,885 crore underway to connect Varanasi to other places in Eastern UP. Out of these, fifteen road projects, 1,143 km long, are under various stages of construction. These NH projects include Varanasi-Jaunpur, Varanasi-Sultanpur, Sultanpur-Lucknow, Varanasi-Azamgarh, Varanasi Ghaghra Bridge among others, the statement said, adding that around Rs 3,0227 crore is likely to be spent on these. Other than these projects, there are seven targeted projects of 235 km, worth Rs 8,265 crore. Additionally, as many as 20 projects are in DPR stage for building 1,455 km roads at a cost of Rs 25,323 crore. Thus, the statement said that roads covering a total distance of 2,833 km, costing Rs 63,885 crore are in the pipeline in the Varanasi area. Meanwhile, in addition to the inauguration of two highways, the PM will also launch inland waterways terminal on river Ganga.