Inaugurating a slew of infrastructure projects worth Rs 2,412 crore in Varanasi on Monday Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country needed the politics of development. He hit out indirectly at the Congress, when he stressed, that the nation no longer required the politics of vote bank.

On his 15th visit to Varanasi since assuming office as Prime Minister, Modi gifted to his parliamentary constituency a multi-modal terminal on River Ganga, a new four-lane Babatpur -Varanasi highway, the Varanasi Ring Road and a sewage treatment plant at Deenapur, amongst others.

The multi-modal terminal on River Ganga near the Ralhupur village in Ramnagar forms part of the Centre’s Jal Marg Vikas Project. Modi formally inaugurated the terminal, the first in North India between Haldia and Prayagraj, by receiving the country’s first container vessel ‘MV Rabindranath Tagore’ here. The vessel started from Kolkata on October 30 and docked in Varanasi on Friday last.

Speaking about the success of this project, the PM said, previous regimes had ignored the development of Waterways for commercial navigation of vessels. When he had first spoken about this project, his adversaries had mocked him. The PM said a befitting reply had now been given to his adversaries and detractors following the successful navigation of a commercial vessel.

The Haldia-Ramnagar multi-modal terminal is the first such terminal. Three other are under construction at Sahibganj (Jharkand), Haldia (West Bengal) and Ghazipur (Uttar Pradesh). Modi said this port-led development will prove to be a boon for not only Varanasi, Purvanchal but the whole of East India.

It will generate employment, allow easy, convenient and at much-reduced cost the transfer of goods, reduce pollution and lessen the vehicular traffic on roads. It will also give a fillip to tourism, particularly cruise tourism. Kashi, he said has embarked on the path of emerging as a `sangam’ of nature, culture and adventure.

Saying that work on harnessing the commercial potential of 100 more National waterways was already underway, the PM said it was in keeping with his government’s commitment towards “new India ka New Vision”.

The PM dedicated the 4 lane Babatpur-Varanasi road to the people and said it will go a long way in decongesting the traffic in the city. He added the problem of missing fights on account of traffic jams will stand negated following the operation of this world-class road.

The road has astounded many who are visiting Varanasi after a long spell of time, he said. The road will also link Varanasi to Jaunpur, Sultanpur and Lucknow.

The first phase of the Ring Road with two ROBs (rail over-bridges ) and a flyover was also dedicated by Modi to the people of his constituency. The Ring Road will link the NH 56 (Lucknow-Varanasi), NH 233 (Azamgarh-Varanasi) and NH 29 (Gorakhpur- Varanasi) and the Ayodhya- Varanasi highway. The PM said work on the second phase of the Ring Road was being carried out at a speedy pace. With the construction of the Ring Road, it will no longer be necessary for vehicles to enter the city.

Taking a dig at the previous governments ( read Congress-led regimes at the Centre ) for doing scant in the name of cleaning Ganga, The PM said his government had not allowed money to go waste: “Pani mein paisa nahi bahaya”. The government was committed to ‘Namami Gange’ and the sewage treatment plant at Deenapur was a step in that direction.