NEW DELHI: With Allahabad bracing to host Ardh Kumbh in 2019, Union Road, Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari Monday said that his ministry will complete water connectivity between the two cities before the mega event that is expected to see 15 crore pilgrims coming to Allahabad for holy dip.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met Gadkari and discussed highways and water connectivity projects in the state. UP CM said that the Centre has assured him that 73 states highways will be converted to national highways and schemes of nearly Rs 10,000 crore from Central Road Fund for construction of roads have been cleared in the state.
To ensure hassle free travel for pilgrims, Gadkari said that the Varanasi-Allahabad route in the National Waterways-1 will be made navigable before Ardh Kumbh.
“Special steamers will procured by the Inland Waterways Authority and private players will also be invited to run ferries for taking people between the two cities,” he said.
Adityanath said that state government is taking steps for improving internal roads and other infrastructure to host the event.
"We have taken decision to improve 76 kilometer road in the city before 2019. The concerned departments are in process of preparing detailed project reports," Adityanath said.
The NW-1 is being developed under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) with technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5369 crore. Under the project, there are going to be three multi-modal terminals--one each at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Sahibganj (Jharkhand), and Haldia (West Bengal).
The development of NW-1 is part of the government’s renewed push to tap the possibilities of transportation of cargo through inland waterways which comes with the inherent advantage of helping decongest the clogged road and rail networks along with being cost effective and environment friendly.