Varanasi will soon get its 85th Ghat, named NaMo. The NaMo Ghat has three pairs of hands, folded in ‘namaste’. NaMo, incidentally, is often used for Prime minister Narendra Modi.
The two 25-feet-tall and one smaller ‘namaste’ statues have already been installed at one of the three promenades on the ghat.
A 75-ft-tall statue will come up behind these statues at this ghat, which will have multiple facilities like an open-air theatre, food court, jetty and CNG filling station.
Divisional commissioner Deepak Agrawal said, “The existing ghat area between Rajghat and Shahi Nullah in Ganga downstream is being redeveloped into a modern, fully accessible ghat with recreational facilities. It has been named NaMo Ghat.”
Asked whether the naming of the new ghat has been based on a popular abbreviated name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said: “With the beginning of the installation of the Namaste statues at this ghat, people started calling it NaMo Ghat after which it was decided to name it as NaMo Ghat.”
“The cost of the project for redevelopment of this ghat is Rs 72 crore,” he said adding, “It is being executed in two phases.”
The first phase work has cost Rs 21 crore and is on the verge of completion. Only the work of installation of the 75-ft-tall Namaste statue is left after installation of the other three statues.
Connectivity has also been established between NaMo Ghat and Rajghat below the Malviya railway bridge through spacious walkways and ramps so that even differently abled people can access the new ghat.
“The NaMo Ghat has spacious promenade at three different levels and it will have food court with a timeline sculpture signage, an open-air theatre to accommodate 1000 people, toilets and RO drinking water, car and two-wheeler parking,” the commissioner said.
He added that the Namaste statues will emerge as a new landmark of the city.
He said, “Work on second phase of the project has already been started. This phase will bring a ‘visarjan kund’ (immersion pond), play area for kids, Yoga and meditation park, open-air theatre, green area all along with benches and gazebos, open air restaurants, water sports area, sculptures and murals and a multi-purpose platform, which can also be used as helipad or stage for various events.”
The existing Govardhan Dham and other temples falling in this area are being retained and integrated into the overall design. Environment friendly material is being used in the entire project in order to maintain the existing river ecosystem.