July 16, 2018
Varanasi, July 16, 2018: The ground-breaking ceremony of the JICA-supported "Project for Construction of the International Cooperation and Convention Centre" was held in Varanasi. The Varanasi International Cooperation and Convention Centre (VCC) will serve as a platform for knowledge exchange sessions for local people and for visitors to the city.
The objective of the Project is to provide opportunities for social and cultural interactions between people, at the international convention center in Varanasi, which would strengthen the city's competitiveness by developing its tourism sector. JICA has assisted the construction of the convention center by providing a Grant in Aid of 3,042 million Japanese yen (approximately INR 200 crore) under the Japanese ODA scheme.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi among other dignitaries representing the Indian side as well as Mr. Hideki Asari, Charge d'Affaires ad interim, on behalf of the Government of Japan.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India Office said, "We are pleased to witness the groundbreaking ceremony of the Convention Centre. The Centre is a glorious symbol of the friendship between India and Japan. It will be a first-of-its-kind facility that will nurture social and cultural exchanges among local people, national and international visitors. JICA, through its sewerage treatment project has been supporting urban development in Varanasi. We hope this convention center will also contribute to more sustainable urban development by attracting business and academic conferences from all over the world thereby creating business opportunity as well as academic development. Not only will the convention center add allure to the city's heritage, but is also expected to enhance tourism here."
The JICA-assisted VCC named ‘Rudraksha', will be a well-equipped convention center, comprising of a main hall with a full flying tower, a seating capacity of 1,200, a gallery, meeting rooms, and parking for 120 cars. The main hall may be partitioned into smaller spaces when required. VCC is also planned to be an environment-friendly building, fit for Level 3 of Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA). VCC will be equipped with adequate security and safety systems, with a regular entrance, a service entrance and a separate VIP entrance, making it an ideal destination for holding all types of international conventions.
JICA signed the first Grant Agreement for ‘The Project for Construction of the International Cooperation and Convention Centre in Varanasi-Phase 1' with the Government of India in September 2017, to provide grant aid of up to 2,240 million Japanese yen (approximately INR 140 crore). In May 2018, JICA signed a supplemental Grant Agreement with the Government of India to provide grant aid of up to 802 million Japanese yen (approximately INR 50 crore) for the second phase of the Project.
Mr. Modi mentioned that people of Varanasi and India are highly grateful to Mr. Shinzo Abe, for donating world class international convention center to Varanasi.
Sign board at the construction site.
Established, by a specific law, as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to contribute to the promotion of international cooperation, as a sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in forms of loan, grant and technical cooperation so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
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