In Hurry to Turn the Cor­ner, Varanasi SeesWork&ChaosAroundEveryBend

Clean­li­ness mes­sag­ing is all over the city, on bus stops, ghats, and other pub­lic places

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Anub­huti.Vish­noi@ times­group.com

Varanasi: Varanasi is in­un­dated with men and ma­chines dig­ging up ev­ery other road and lane, earth­movers sta­tioned on al­ready nar­row roads, and huge elec­tric ca­ble rolls lin­ing up on road­sides, caus­ing traf­fic jams all over.

The holy city on the Ganga is no pretty sight as it pre­pares to go to polls in two weeks from now, but clearly Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s Lok Sab­ha­con­stituen­cy­isinthemid­dleof a trans­for­ma­tion: a range of cen­tral gov­ern­ment-sanc­tioned projects are on si­mul­ta­ne­ously, and one can spot men at work al­most ev­ery­where.

Kyoto or not, PM Modi’s Varanasi model is steadily tak­ing shape. Although ev­ery au­thor­ity in the town con­cedes that things are slower than ex­pected, al­most ev­ery­body ex­pects re­sults to start show­ing up by the end of this cal­en­dar. And when it goes to Lok Sabha polls in 2019, Varanasi is likely to have cleaned up its act like few other In­dian cities.

A gro­cery store owner near Tulsi Ghat­said,“We­haveputup­with­e­qually bad roads ear­lier as well. Let us see if this time around, this round gets us to Kyoto.” Modi had signed the KashiKy­oto pro­to­col in Au­gust 2014 to re­vive Varanasi with the help of the Ja­pa­nese city.

There are, how­ever, many a tricky ter­ri­tory en route to Kyoto.

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