Elaborate security arrangements are in place in this ancient temple town in view of the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi later in the day when he is scheduled to launch a number of projects including a 1500-km-long gas pipeline costing Rs 51,000 crore.
Modi will arrive in his Lok Sabha constituency immediately after addressing a rally in Mahoba, a district in the impoverished Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh.
At the function organized in the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) here, the Prime Minister is scheduled to launch a number of projects, including “Urja Ganga”, a 1500-km-long gas pipeline costing Rs 51,000 crore, which will cater to millions of people in UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha.
The Prime Minister will be welcomed by UP Governor Ram Naik and Union Ministers of State Dharmendra Pradhan, Manoj Sinha, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Anupriya Patel.
Although an invitation for the function has been sent to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, he has deputed his cabinet colleague Brahmashankar Tripathi to receive the Prime Minister in case pressing engagements at Lucknow prevent him from coming to Varanasi.
The DLW Inter College ground, where the function will be held, is all decked up for the function.
Half-a-dozen LED screens have been installed in various corners of the ground so that those seated far from the stage may get a clear view.
The function will begin with performances by noted Bhojpuri singer and BJP MP Manoj Tiwari and renowned folk artiste Malini Awasthi.
Meanwhile, the city has been transformed into a virtual garrison with thousands of police personnel patrolling the streets to ensure fool-proof security.
Twenty-one Superintendents of Police, 17 Additional SPs and 43 Deputy SPs will be supervising 22 inspectors, 326 ASIs, 400 head constables, 1199 constables and 105 women constables.
The police personnel will be assisted by eight companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary, four companies of NDRF and two companies each of CISF and ITBP.
As many as 100 CCTV cameras have been installed in the vicinity of the DLW premises while overhead water tanks have been transformed into watch towers with security personnel perched atop.
The elite Special Protection Group (SPG), which is directly responsible for the Prime Minister’s security, has been camping in the city since Friday.