Kashi The Varanasi

Administration and politics

Administration

General Administration

Varanasi division which consists of four districts, and is headed by the Divisional Commissioner of Varanasi, who is an IAS officer of high seniority, the Commissioner is the head of local government institutions (including Municipal Corporations) in the division, is in charge of infrastructure development in his division, and is also responsible for maintaining law and order in the division.[53][54][55][56][57] The District Magistrate of Varanasi reports to the Divisional Commissioner. The current Commissioner is Nitin Ramesh Gokarn.[58][59][60]

Varanasi district administration is headed by the District Magistrate of Varanasi, who is an IAS officerThe DM is in charge of property records and revenue collection for the central government and oversees the elections held in the city. The DM is also responsible for maintaining law and order in the city, hence the SSP of Varanasi also reports to the DM of Varanasi.[53][61][62][63][64] The DM is assisted by a Chief Development Officer (CDO), four Additional District Magistrates (ADM) (Finance/Revenue, City, Protocol, Executive), one Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), one City Magistrate (CM), and four Additional City Magistrates (ACM). The district has three tehsils, each headed by a Sub-Divisional magistrate. The current DM is Yogeshwar Ram Mishra.[58][59][60]

Police Administration

Varanasi district comes under the Varanasi Police Zone and Varanasi Police Range, Varanasi Zone is headed by an Additional Director General ranked IPS officer, and the Varanasi Range is headed Inspector General ranked IPS officer. The current ADG, Varanasi Zone is Biswajit Mahapatra,[65] and IG, Varanasi Range is Deepak Ratan.[66]

The district police is headed by a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), who is an IPS officer, and is assisted by six Superintendents of Police(SP)/Additional Superintendents of Police (Addl. SP) (City, Rural Area, Crime, Traffic, Protocol and Protocol), who are either IPS officers or PPS officers.[67]Each of the several police circles is headed by a Circle Officer (CO) in the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.[67] The current SSP is Ram Krishna Bharadwaj.[67]

Infrastructure and Civic Administration

The development of infrastructure in the city is overseen by Varanasi Development Authority (VDA), which comes under the Housing Department of Uttar Pradesh government. The Divisional Commissioner of Varanasi acts as the ex-officio Chairman of VDA, whereas a Vice Chairman, a government-appointed IAS officer, looks after the daily matters of the authority.[68] The current Vice-Chairman of Varanasi Development Authority is Pulkit Khare.[69]

The Varanasi Municipal Corporation oversees civic activities in the city, the head of the corporation is the Mayor, but the executive and administration of the corporation is the responsibility of the Municipal Commissioner, who is a Uttar Pradesh government-appointed either an IAS officer or Provincial Civil Service (PCS) officer of high seniority. The current Mayor of Varanasi is Mridula Jaiswal, whereas the Municipal Commissioner is Nitin Bansal.[70]

Water supply and sewage system is operated by the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam.[71]

Politics

Varanasi is represented in the Parliament of India by the current Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi who won the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 by a huge margin.[72]

Healthcare

Hospitals in the city include the Sir Sunderlal Hospital, a teaching hospital in the Banaras Hindu University, Heritage Hospital, Marwari Hospital, Pitambari Hopspital, Mata Anand Mai Hospital, Rajkiya Hospital, Ram Krishna Mission Hospital, Shiv Prasad Gupta Hospital, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital (managed by the state government), and Varanasi Hospital and Medical Research Centre. The urban parts of the Varanasi district had an infant mortality rate of 70 per 1,000 live births in 2010–2011.[73]

The Railway Cancer Hospital is now being run by the Tata Memorial Centre after intervention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who represents Varanasi.[74]

Sushruta, an ancient Indian physician known as the primary author of the treatise Sushruta Samhita, the Sanskrit text of surgery, lived in Varanasi and practised medicine and surgery sometime during the 5th century BCE. Since 1922, ayurveda has been a subject of training in the Banaras Hindu University, and in 1927 a separate Ayurvedic College was established.[75][76] There are many ayurvedic centres in Varanasi providing treatments such as Panchakarma as well as other treatments.[77]

Public maintenance

Because of the high population density of Varanasi and the increasing number of tourists, the Uttar Pradesh government and international non-governmental organisations and institutions have expressed grave concern for the pollution and pressures on infrastructure in the city, mainly the sewage, sanitation, and drainage components.[78] Pollution of the Ganges is a particular source of worry because of the religious significance of the river, the dependence of people on it as a source of drinking water, and its prominence as a symbol of Varanasi and the city itself.[79] The sewage problem is exacerbated by the role of the Ganges in bathing and in river traffic, which is very difficult to control.[78] Because of the sewage, people using local untreated water have higher risk of contracting a range of water-borne stomach diseases.[80]

Parts of Varanasi are contaminated with industrial chemicals including toxic heavy metal. Studies of wastewater from Varanasi’s sewage treatment plants identify that water’s contamination with metals and the reuse of this water for irrigation as a way that the toxic metals come to be in the plants that people grow for food.[81][82] One studied example is palak, a popular leafy vegetable which takes up heavy metal when it is in the soil, and which people then eat.[83] Some of the polluting sludge contains minerals which are fertiliser, which could make polluted water attractive to use.[84] Pesticides used in local farming are persistent enough to be spread through the water, to sewer treatment, then back to the farms as wastewater.[84]

Varanasi’s water supply and sewage system is maintained by Jal Nigam, a subsidiary of Varanasi Nagar Nigam. Power supply is by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited. The city produces about 350,000,000 litres (77,000,000 imp gal; 92,000,000 US gal) per day[85] of sewage and 425 tonnes (418 long tons; 468 short tons) per day of solid waste.[86] The solid wastes are disposed in one landfill site

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