Ahmedabad-based PSP Projects Ltd announced that it has emerged as the lowest bidder for the development of a new corridor from Kashi Vishvanath Mandir in Varanasi to the nearby riverfront known as Lalita and Manikarnika Ghats.
The beautification and expansion project will cover an area of around 200 meters by 250 meters, and will cost over Rs 650 cr.
The UP government has spent on Rs 300 cr on acquiring buildings to be demolished as part of the project. The development and beautification project that PSP Projects has won is worth another Rs 339 cr.
PSP outbid Mumbai-based Shapoorji Pallonji Group to emerge as the lead candidate by submitting the Rs 339 cr bid. Shapoorji Pallonji Group had submitted a bid of Rs 422 cr.
The Kashi Vishvanath Dham project, locally known as the corridor project, involves creating a high-class tourism destination in the 400 meter stretch from the famous temple and the Ganga river.
It also involves creating a temple courtyard as well as boundary walls for the Kashi Vishvanath temple with four gates in each direction.
The total project is estimated to be cover 50,000 square meters (5.4 lakh square feet).
The developments will include a Vedic Center, a Cultural Center, a museum, a refreshments center, spiritual centers as well as a tourist facilitation center, and is targeted at attracting foreign as well as local tourists.
Only around 30% of the project area will be constructed on, with the remaining area being planted with trees and plants, including Rudraksh.
The entire corridor will be constructed with pink sandstone on the outside, while marble and granite will be used for the interiors.
Even though some more buildings remain to be acquired within the project area, the new destination is supposed to be ready by around September 2021, well before the state elections of 2022.
The Kashi Vishvanath Temple corridor project is one of the two dozen or so key projects being pursued by the Yogi Adityanath government to be completed before the end of its current term.
Other similar projects include a tourist complex in Ayodhya — where efforts are also on to finish the construction of a temple dedicated to Lord Ram before elections — as well as at Mathura.
Non religious projects being pursued by the government include new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences at Gorakhpur and Rae Bareli, universities at Azamgarh, Aligarh and Saharanpur and a medical university in the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
These efforts are part of the BJP’s attempts to maintain control of Uttar Pradesh state, after a string of losses in nearby states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana and Jharkhand.