Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a visit to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi on Sunday, has inaugurated multiple projects including one of the biggest mega-kitchens in India called Shri Kashi Vishwanath Anna Kshetra. Touted as one of the mega-kitchens in India, it has joined the list that includes mega-kitchens of Golden Temple, Shirdi Sai Trust, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, Akshay Patra, etc. Talking to Financial Express Online, Vishal Singh, CEO of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust and Shri Kashi Vishwanath Vishisht Kshetra Vikas Parishad and Secretary of Varanasi Development Authority said, "Shri Kashi Vishwanath Anna Kshetra has almost 50,000 square feet area that has been created over five floors. Its construction cost was around Rs 13 crores and it is a state-of-the-art facility which will serve both north Indian and south Indian food every day for all the devotees who are coming to Kashi Vishwanath temple and is inaugurated today by Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi ji."
Elaborating further about the Anna Kshetra, Singh said, "The capacity planning is around 5,000 devotees per day to begin with but in the future, we will keep adding those modular mechanised kitchens which are required to cook that much food. To start with, today we are feeding five thousand people."
"We will see the response and on Mahashivratri, which is on Friday this week, we will scale up the capacity because everything in it is based on a mechanised system. So, we can actually double the number in a matter of hours," Singh told Financial Express Online.
Vishal Singh added that Shri Kashi Vishwanath Anna Kshetra’s modular kitchen will perform steam-based cooking. "The modular kitchen will cook food items which are rice-based or wheat-based the way it is done in similar kitchens in India like in Golden temple, Shirdi Sai Sansthan, Akshaypatra and Tirupati Balaji, etc. They have those mega-kitchens and we will use the same model. We will increase the capacity as the number goes up. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Anna Kshetra will be one of the biggest kitchens in India and we can safely say that it will be the biggest Annakshetra in eastern UP and Uttar Pradesh.
Regarding the development of Baba Vishwanath Dham or Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, Vishal Singh informed that PM Modi will inaugurate the project sometime in mid-2021. "Work has started on Baba Vishwanath Dham Corridor and is going on in three shifts with at least 300 people are working day and night," Singh said.
PM Narendra Modi also inaugurated other projects in Varanasi including Mahakal express between Kashi and Indore near Ujjain, unveiling of 63-feet high Ashtadhatu statue of Deen Dayal Upadhyay in Deen Dayal Upvan developed by Varanasi Development Authority.