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Mega Cluster Scheme for Varanasi weavers
Mar '08
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh interacted with many delegations from the city of Varanasi, including a delegation of weavers led by Dr. R.K. Mishra, MP.

The Prime Minister mentioned that the following issues would be pursued by the Government soon for the benefit of the people of Varanasi and weavers of Varanasi. Decisions on these would be taken soon.

1. Public Transport for Varanasi – Varanasi is a major city and deserves top class public transport. Varanasi is included in the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Under the JNNURM, the Central Government would be willing to fund a major public transport project for Varanasi. Adequate funds would be provided to enable Varanasi to have a modern transport system in keeping with its importance as a Heritage City.

The State Government will be requested to forward a project to Government of India and a decision will be taken on this proposal favourably. The Government of India will provide all possible support for preparing the project.

2. Heritage Development of Varanasi – Varanasi is one of the few cities included in JNNURM, which have an ancient heritage value. The Ministry of Tourism also has taken up Varanasi under its Mega Projects Scheme for tourism development.

Budget-2008 also has a provision for tax concessions to hotels in districts with heritage monuments. The State Government would be requested to form a Group of Experts to prepare a Heritage Development Plan for Varanasi which would be funded from the JNNURM and other sources.

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