New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government has blocked yet another project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s VIP constituency of Varanasi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project of setting up a second campus of NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) in Varanasi district of the state has not seen the light of day due to the red-tape among Uttar Pradesh state officials.

The Centre has proposed that the state government set up a second campus of NIFT in Varanasi after Raibareli to promote Banarasi sarees and other handicrafts from eastern Uttar Pradesh globally. Meanwhile, the finance department of the state government has turned down the proposal.

However, the Khadi Village and development industries have taken the lead and forwarded the proposal again to the Chief Minister’s Office to take action for setting up a second NIFT campus in Varanasi. Union Minister for textiles, Smriti Irani, was quite instrumental and personally attached to the NIFT project.

As a textile minister, she wanted to highlight the unique qualities of Banarasi sarees, known for their gold and silver brocade with zari, fine silk, and lavish hand woven designs, across the world. Banarasi silk sarees have already got a Geographical Indication (GI) mark under the registered name of `Banaras Brocades and Sarees'.

According to the Textile Ministry, after the opening of a new NIFT campus in Varanasi, the Banarasi saree Udyog (industries) will get a new dimension in the international market. It will also create jobs in the eastern Uttar Pradesh region. But the finance department of the Yogi government has played spoilsport and has turned down the project citing central policy norms to set up another NIFT in the state.

As per the central government policy, every state will get only one NIFT campus in the state, and Uttar Pradesh already has one NIFT campus at Raibareli. Meanwhile, as Varanasi is the VIP constituency of PM Modi, centre was ready to tweak the policy norms. This is a clear cut case of red-tapism where the finance department is creating obstacles in Modi’s dream project in the state.

According to the topmost official of Khadi Village and Development department “we have already forwarded the centre proposal to setup a new NIFT campus at Varanasi to CM’s office for the further review. The KVIC department in its new proposal has highlighted the fact that a second NIFT will increase productivity and open new avenues in the worldwide market for well-known Banarasi sarees and handicrafts from the city of Varanasi”.

The official said that not only would the PM constituency get the benefit of this, but also adjoining districts like Bhadohi, Azamgarh and Mau through increased employment. Students from all over India will get a chance to study and showcase their designs in the vibrant city of Varanasi popularly known as Kashi. Hand-woven saree and handloom products mixed with new designs will get easy access to the international market through the new campus.