The central government has approved projects of more than Rs 21,000 crore to keep the river Ganga clean, PM Narendra Modi said in Varanasi on Saturday. "So far more than 200 projects of Rs 21,000 Crore have been approved to keep river Ganga clean and see that the waste of the cities are not dumped in the river," Modi said. The prime minister, who was visiting his Lok Sabha constituency, said that 'a new Varanasi is being built for New India.' Modi added that the soul of the city will be ancient, but its body will be modern. "There will be culture & traditions in every corner of it but the facilities provided to it will be 'smart'," the prime minister said. Modi further said that previous state governments ignored the development of Varanasi. "During previous governments, there was no development in Varanasi, development projects were stalled," Modi said. "But when the people voted for us and chose BJP government for Lucknow, the region started moving forward on the path to development," he added further. The Prime Minister praised the city's culture and tradition and said that the prime minister of Japan always cherishes the way he was received by the people here. "Whenever I meet the PM of Japan, I see that he always recounts his experience in Varanasi to any Indian who meets him," Modi said. Modi said that the President of France remembers the welcome he received in the city. "The way you welcomed the President of France.they still praise it. That is the culture of Varanasi, that is the love of Varanasi," PM Modi said.