The famous ghats of Varanasi city with its cobweb of narrow alleys is undergoing change. Behind this change is an ambitious project of the BJP government — Rs 600 crore Kashi Viswanath Temple Corridor project renamed the Vishwanath Dham project.
Apart from the government funding, the project has come at another cost. More than 200 buildings have been demolished and a section of locals allege that the project is tampering the cultural identity of Kashi, known for its galis and buildings replete with cultural significance.
Government officials behind the implementation of the project, on the other hand, dismiss such accusations. Officials claim that owners of these properties have been given substantial compensation and the shopkeepers will be provided commercial space on a first-cum-first-serve on a priority basis. Amid such allegations and counter allegations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project in March this year.
ThePrint’s photo editor Praveen Jain takes us for a walk through these lanes.