Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Rudraksh, an International Coopoeration and Convention centre in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency on Thursday. The two-storey convention centre, capable of accommodating 1,200 people, was built with help from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Constructed on a three-acre land parcel in the city’s Sigra area, the convention centre cost around Rs 200 crore and is being positioned as the perfect location for hosting all kinds of international conventions, exhibitions, and even concerts in an attempt to strengthen the city’s competitiveness by overhauling its tourism sector. The convention centre includes a main hall with a tower, a very spacious parking area capable of accommodating 120 cars, and meeting rooms. The roof of the convention tower has been built in such a manner that it resembles the Shiva Linga. The entire building will glow with LED lights at night. The convention centre also includes a gallery, which showcases the ancient city’s distinct culture and heritage. It also has murals that depict its art and music. The main hall can also be partitioned into smaller spaces, if required, for events.
The Rudraksh convention centre was constructed with the environment in mind. It is fit to be granted Level 3 status under the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), said officials. Adequate security and safety measures, including a regular entrance and separate VIP and service entrances, will also be put in place at the convention centre building.
JICA provided a grant of 3,042 million Japanese yen or around Rs 200 crore and assisted in construction of the convention centre under the Japanese ODA scheme. The centre’s foundation stone was laid in 2015 when then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a visit to Varanasi. The project’s objective was to provide scope for cultural interactions, apart from being a collaboration between Japan and India.