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article imageIndia plans to apply Kyoto model to develop Varanasi

By Sravanth Verma     Sep 4, 2014 in World
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recently concluded five-day visit to Japan has resulted in a Kashi-Kyoto agreement, to apply the Kyoto model to develop Varanasi.
Modi had visited the Toji temple — a UNESCO world heritage site — in Kyoto on the second day of his trip, following which Modi and Abe signed the agreement. The pact is part of Modi's plan to build 100 smart cities across India.
"Kyoto has been able to preserve its thousand year legacy and cultural heritage while also staying abreast of all technological advances that is necessary in today's life. We are planning to do something similar in India as well, where we can achieve a similar union between preservation of culture and technological progress," said Modi.
Modi stayed at Toji, an eighth-century Buddhist pagoda, for half an hour. The temple is 57 meters tall and is the tallest pagoda in Japan. It has become a symbol of both the temple and Kyoto. Monk Hasi, who accompanied Modi said, "We are happy that the Prime Minister visited us. It is a matter of pride for our temple. He has a big heart."
Modi also visited the Kinkaku Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto and the Nobel Prize-winning Kyoto University stem cell research facility with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.
Kyoto, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is known for its wonderful blending of heritage and modernity, something that is sorely lacking in India where heritage monuments are frequently in danger of falling apart. Varanasi is set to have a world-class transport system, a film city, a botanical garden, a center of excellence for the revival of classical music and a skill development center for weavers.
The development blueprint also involves the beautification of the banks of the river Ganga in the city, the area around the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most important areas in Varanasi, a 24-hour waste-waste treatment plant and a 24-hour solid waste collection plant.
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