New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) Civic and urban bodies of Varanasi will be the chief executing agencies to develop the temple town into a heritage city, the union urban development ministry told its administration in a meeting here Friday, sources said.
A meeting was called by urban development secretary Shankar Agarwal Friday in which mayors of Varanasi, its MLAs, and senior officials of the urban local bodies suggested ways to develop the city — parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Agarwal, in the meeting, made it clear that urban development is the responsibility of state and urban local bodies and the Centre could only provide some financial support and hand holding.
“Broad opinion that emerged was that Varanasi Municipal Corporation is the most appropriate body to do so,” said sources.
“It was also felt that divisional commissioner of Varanasi should be the nodal officer to facilitate better coordination with all agencies concerned and the state government,” an official said.
Agarwal told the Varanasi authorities that central and state governments and the urban agencies concerned needed to work in tandem to develop Varanasi.
While urban mobility in Varanasi, infrastructure availability in respect of water supply, drainage and sewerage systems and the projects in progress were discussed in detail, he urged the agencies concerned to inform the central government about execution and deadlines of their plans.
Varanasi is on the top of the list of 100 smart cities which the Narendra Modi government wants to create in view of the burgeoning urban population.
Besides, during his official tour to Japan in August, Modi had expressed his desire to develop Varanasi on the lines of Kyoto – an ancient Japanese city.