PM Modi laid the foundation stone of International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi today. The modern international cricket stadium will be developed in Ganjari, Rajatalab, Varanasi at a cost of about Rs 450 crores and spread across an area of more than 30 acres. Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister expressed delight in getting the opportunity to visit Varanasi once again and remarked that the joy of this city is beyond words. The Prime Minister highlighted that he is visiting Kashi on a day, exactly one month after India reached the Shiv Shakti point on the moon where Chandrayaan landed on the moon on the 23rd of last month. “One place of Shiv Shakti is on the moon, while the other one is here in Kashi”, the Prime Minister remarked, as he congratulated everyone for this momentous feat.
The Prime Minister also noted the significance of the venue which is at the intersection of the route to Mata Vindhyavasini and its proximity with the village Motikot, the place from which Raj Narain ji hailed. The Prime Minister highlighted that the design of the International stadium dedicated to Lord Mahadev has instilled a feeling of pride among the citizens of Kashi. He said that the stadium would witness great cricket matches while the young athletes would get an opportunity to train at a stadium with international standards. “This will greatly benefit the citizens of Kashi”, he added. The Prime Minister said that through cricket, the world is getting linked with India and many new countries are playing cricket leading to a greater number of matches. He said that this international stadium will cater to the rising demand for stadiums in the coming years. The Prime Minister also thanked the BCCI for their contribution. The Prime Minister underlined that the development of sports infrastructure of such scale not only has a positive effect on sports but also has a positive impact on the regional economy. He mentioned that such developments attract more visitors which greatly benefits sectors such as hotels, eateries, rickshaws and auto drivers as well as oarsmen in the region. He highlighted that it also has a positive effect on sports coaching and management institutions thereby paving the way for youth to venture into sports startups. He also touched upon physiotherapy courses and said that a new sports industry is expected to shape up in Varanasi in the coming days. The Prime Minister highlighted the changing attitude towards sports among parents. “Now the mood of the nation is – Jo Khelega wo hi Khilega (one who will play will blossom)”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister recounted his recent visit to Shahdol and his interaction with youth in a tribal village there and remembered the local pride for the ‘Mini Brazil’ there and their deep love for football there.