Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the International Cooperation and Convention Centre – Rudraksh in Varanasi, which has been constructed with Japanese assistance. The two-storey convention centre can accommodate 1,200 people and was constructed with the aid of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Constructed in the Sigra area of Varanasi over three acres of land at a cost of nearly Rs 200 crore, the ‘Rudraksh’ centre has been positioned as an ideal location to host all types of international conventions, concerts and exhibitions in order to strengthen the city’s competitiveness by developing its tourism sector. It comprises a main hall with a tower, meeting rooms and a spacious parking area.
The roof of the building has been constructed to resemble the Shiva Linga. The gallery showcases Varanasi’s distinct culture and heritage, with murals depicting its art and music.
JICA assisted the construction of the convention centre by providing a grant of 3,042 million Japanese yen (around Rs 200 crore) under the Japanese ODA scheme. The foundation stone for the centre was laid in 2015, during then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Varanasi.
PM Modi also inaugurated various public projects and works, including a 100-bed MCH wing in BHU, multi-level parking at Godauliya, Ro-Ro vessels for tourism development on river Ganga and a three-lane flyover bridge on the Varanasi-Ghazipur highway.