Deuba lays foundation of old-age home in Varanasi

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Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is on a three-day official visit to India, laid the foundation stone for construction of an old-age home on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple at Lalitaghat of Varanasi on Sunday.

On the occasion, he also performed the ‘bhumi puja’ or the land sanctification rituals for the construction, according to Nepal’s state-owned news agency, RSS.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was present on the occasion.

The Nepal government has allotted Rs 10 million for the old-age home. However, the contract for the construction of the facility is yet to be issued.

The old-age home is for the accommodation of people coming to Varanasi for pilgrimage. Having 35 rooms, it will be built according to the Nepali architectural style. The Department of Archaeology is said to be preparing the sketch of the building.

Earlier on Sunday morning, Deuba had paid homage to Kaal Bhairav. He is also visited Vishwanath and Pashupatinath temples in the Hindu holy city.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Adityanath hosted a luncheon in his honour.

Deuba was welcomed in various places of Varanasi with cultural programmes. He had flown to Varanasi on Sunday morning after completing the engagements and meetings in the national capital in his first official and bilateral visit after assuming the office in July last year.

On Saturday, Deuba led an official delegation to hold talks with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi where both leaders assured to take forward the bilateral ties to new heights. Both sides also reviewed the progress made in several India funded projects in Nepal.

Four agreements were signed and Nepal also joined the International Solar Alliance, an initiative taken by India. Similarly, Nepal and India have agreed to expand cooperation in the power and energy sector under the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) framework. BBIN is known as a sub-regional grouping of SAARC, or the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

An initiative by India, the BBIN sub-regional architecture works in such areas as water resource management, and connectivity of power, transport, and infrastructure.

According to the Nepal-India joint vision statement on power sector cooperation unveiled on Saturday after delegation talks between the two Prime Ministers in New Delhi, there are unprecedented opportunities for expanding and further strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation in the power sector where both sides can work together in several areas.

The vision statement was a major outcome of Deuba’s visit. Earlier on Saturday, during a joint press briefing with Deuba, Modi hailed the vision statement.

Under the vision statement, both sides will work on joint development of power generation projects in Nepal and cross-border transmission infrastructure.

After completing his three-day official visit, Deuba was all set to return home on Sunday evening.

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