From centralised traffic control to city-wide WiFi, govt plans major makeover of Varanasi city

NEW DELHI: Varanasi’s Benia Bagh, where Narendra Modi was once not allowed to do an election rally in the run-up to the 2014 general election, will soon witness a complete makeover complete with a musical fountain playing to the tunes of Ustad Bismillah Khan and a modern play area for disabled children.

Four more prominent public parks of the PM’s constituency are set to be turned “world-class” – one will be designated as a ‘Selfie Park’ for youngsters to click selfies, another will showcase roses and ittar, and a third will have a screen for a light-andshade effect and a green tunnel. This is part of a big makeover plan for Varanasi ahead of the 2019 general election that is being closely monitored by the PM, officials said.

They said the plan envisages resolving the city’s perennial congestion problem and ensuring security through a huge network of CCTV cameras and an integrated command and control centre. The holy city is being made Wi-Fi ready and a dedicated mobile app for citizens and tourists alike will soon be rolled out.

As many as 61 busy intersections across the city will be remodelled and fixed with an Intelligent Traffic Management System with automatically configured traffic lights and Pelican lights for pedestrians for regulating traffic and lessening the city’s infamous traffic jams. Roads leading to the famous Ganga Ghats will also be remodelled to enable smoother traffic, officials said.

From centralised traffic control to city-wide WiFi, govt plans major makeover of Varanasi city

At present, there is no central control mechanism to monitor or regulate the traffic flow in Varanasi. As per the plan, 400 CCTV cameras will be fitted on the 61 busiest junctions to enable a dedicated ‘city wide surveillance system’ with the ability of facial recognition and congestion detection.

Nearly 36,000 streetlights will see new LED lights and automation, and an environmental monitoring system will be installed at various places to measure the levels of air pollution. All of this will be linked to a proposed Kashi Integrated Command & Control Centre for live monitoring and action.

Source: Economic Times