Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Rudraksh International Cooperation and Convention centre in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi today. The two-storey convention centre can accommodate 1,200 people and was constructed with the aid of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
During his address at the convention centre, Modi thanked the Japanese people, the Japanese country’s government, and Suzuki Satoshi, its ambassador to India. He also thanked his Yoshihide Suga, his Japanese counterpart, for personally taking an interest in the project. He expressed happiness that a new chapter of friendship was being written today, and referred to the Delhi-Mumbai high-speed train and industrial corridor, being built with Japanese cooperation.
Built for an estimated Rs 200 crore over three acres of land Sigra, the state-of-the-art convention centre is being positioned as the perfect venue for exhibitions, international conventions, and even concerts. A main hall and tower, a parking lot capable for 120 cars, and meeting rooms make up the convention centre. The tower’s roof has been built to resemble the Shiva Linga. The convention centre also has a gallery depicting the distinct heritage and culture of Varanasi, as well as murals showcasing its connection with music and the arts. It also meets all environment standards and qualifies for Level 3 status under the Centre’s Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), officials said.
The foundation stone for Rudraksh was laid in 2015 during a visit to Varanasi by then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Prior to its inauguration, Modi had also hailed the Japanese support in a tweet and said the convention centre would make the city an attractive destination for conferences and draw many more tourists and businesspersons.
Modi laid the foundation stones of several public works and projects worth a combined Rs 839 crore during his Varanasi visit. Among these projects are the Centre for Skill and Technical Support of Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering and Technology, a mango and vegetable integrated packhouse, and 143 rural projects under the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission. He also inaugurated the Maternal and Child Health Wing at Banaras Hindu University.