On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the first international cricket stadium in Ganjari, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, along with a constellation of cricket legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Madan Lal, Gundappa Viswanath, Gopal Sharma, and Ravi Shastri, graced the foundation laying ceremony of eastern Uttar Pradesh’s inaugural stadium.
BCCI President Roger Binny, Secretary Jay Shah and Vice-President Rajiv Shukla were also in attendance on this occasion.
The stadium will be constructed on a 30-acre plot at a total cost of Rs. 450 crore. The Uttar Pradesh government has invested Rs. 121 crore in acquiring the land for the stadium, with the BCCI allocating Rs. 330 crore for its construction. The stadium is expected to be finished by December 2025.
The design of the cricket stadium planned for Ganjari in Varanasi will reflect the rich heritage of the holy city and elements associated with Lord Shiva, according to Ankit Chatterjee, the CEO of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA). He mentioned that the stadium’s roofs will take the shape of a crescent, reminiscent of Lord Shiva’s crown, and the floodlights will be in the form of tridents.
Following the inauguration, during his address at the event, Modi stated that it would contribute to the promotion of sports and the cultivation of sporting talent among young individuals.
“This stadium in the city of ‘Mahadev’ will be devoted to Lord Shiva himself.” This stadium will stand as a symbol of pride for the Purvanchal region,” stated PM Narendra Modi.
Regional Sports Officer RP Singh mentioned that with the completion of this cricket stadium in 2.5 years, Varanasi would have the capacity to host international cricket matches.
Later in the day, the Prime Minister will arrive at Sampurnanand Sanskrit University in the city, where he will take part in the “Nari Shakti Vandan- Abhinandan Karyakram” (Program to Honor and Celebrate Women Empowerment).
“The historic enactment of the Nari Shakti Vandan Act also demonstrates how significant decisions are made in the country when there is a strong and majority government,” PM Modi remarked.
During the program, 5,000 women will pay tribute to the PM in recognition of the passage of the women’s reservation bill in parliament. Additionally, he will engage in a discussion with the women concerning the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam 2023.
After departing from the university, the PM will proceed to the Rudraksh International Cooperation and Convention Centre, where he will inaugurate the 16 newly constructed Atal Awasiya Vidyalayas, including one in Varanasi. He will also engage in an interaction with the students.
These schools were established specifically for the education of children from construction workers, daily wage earners, and those orphaned by Covid, aiming to provide them with quality education and support their overall development. Each Atal school is constructed on 10-15 acres of land, featuring sports grounds, recreational spaces, a mini auditorium, a hostel complex, a dining facility, and residential apartments for the staff. The ultimate goal of each school is to accommodate 1,000 students.
Following that, the Prime Minister will join in the closing ceremony of the Kashi Sansad Sanskritik Mahotsav, which commenced on September 1st.
The Mahotsav saw the involvement of more than 37,000 individuals who showcased their talents across 17 disciplines in music, dance, and acting, as reported by Himanshu Nagpal, the Chief Development Officer of Varanasi.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stated that these projects will contribute to the ongoing development progress of Varanasi and the entire state of Uttar Pradesh.
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“I am eagerly looking forward to participating in today’s events in the sacred city of Kashi, dedicated to Baba Vishwanath. These initiatives will not only boost Varanasi’s development but also contribute to the progress of the entire Uttar Pradesh. At approximately 1:30 pm today, we will lay the foundation stone for a magnificent international cricket stadium in Varanasi, inaugurate 16 Atal Residential Schools, and take part in the closing ceremony of the Kashi Sansad Cultural Mahotsav,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter).