VARANASI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival on Monday has ensured a grand and glittering celebration on Dev Deepawali this year and ensured festivities won’t be overshadowed by Covid-19 pandemic in any way as the ghats in Varanasi are beautifully decked up and a sizzling laser show will increase the grandeur.
The district administration has finalized all the preparations for the PM’s stay of over six hours in the city in his visit after nine months. The PM will also inaugurate the six-lane 78km stretch of Varanasi-Prayagraj national highway.
Divisional commissioner Deepak Agrawal told TOI on Sunday, “The preparations for PM’s visit and all the venues where he is scheduled to attend different events are ready.”
As per the itinerary received by the district administration, PM Modi will land at LBS International Airport and head to Khajuri village in Rajatalab area to inaugurate the six-lane widening project of the Rajatalab (Varanasi)-Handia (Prayagraj) section of national highway.
The 73km stretch of NH-19, widened with an outlay of Rs 2,447 crore, will reduce the travel time between Prayagraj and Varanasi by an hour.
The PM will then go to Rajghat where he will light the first earthen lamp to mark the beginning of Dev Deepawali celebration with the lighting of 11 lakh lamps on both banks of the Ganga. Cultural events will be held at 15 ghats and a laser show at Chet Singh Ghat will add splendor to the celebrations.
The PM will then go to review the progress of Kashi Vishwanath Dham (corridor) project after which he will proceed to Sarnath where he will see the light and sound show based on the life of Lord Buddha.
“The Dev Deepawali celebrations will be telecast live due to the Prime Minister’s participation and will help showcase the event globally. It will help revive tourism once the Covid-19 pandemic is over. The tourism industry has also been very badly hit by the Covid menace,” said joint director (tourism) Avinash Mishra.
Banaras Hotels Association president Gokul Sharma said, “Tourists coming from different parts in the country are telling that other people too are going to shrines for mental peace amid the negativity spread by Covid-19.”
The grand celebration of Dev Deepawali will boost morale and revive tourism, added Sharma.
We have started witnessing the arrival of domestic tourists due to which the hotel industry has got some respite, he added.
Read original article here.