Varanasi, March 12: French President Emanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a boat ride on the Ganga here on Monday, animatedly talking on the flower-decked double-decker vessel.
Modi, who represents Varanasi in the Lok Sabha, briefed Macron about the history and significance of various ghats along the holy Ganga.
Macron asked him some questions and Modi promptly responded. The two walked to the Assi Ghat after visiting the Deendayal Handicraft Museum.
The Prime Minister told the French President about various handicrafts on display at the stalls. They briefly halted to hear the locals playing shehnaai. The two retired for lunch at the Nadesar five-star hotel, belonging to the Taj Group.
While Macron stayed back at the hotel to rest, Modi drove to keep his other engagements.
Earlier, Modi and Macron flew to Dadarkala in neighbouring Mirzapur district to inaugurate the biggest solar plant in Uttar Pradesh. As soon as they landed, they were gifted a bright red "chunri" of Goddess Vindhyavasini, the presiding deity of Mirzapur.
The 100 MW plant will produce 75 MW electricity for now. Holding hands off and on, Modi and Macron unveiled the inaugural plaque in the presence of Union Minister Anupriya Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and French First Lady Brigitte Macron.
The power plant has been built at Dadarkala at a cost of Rs 650 crore over a stretch of 380 acre in the Vindhyan mountain range.
The plant has 1.18 lakh solar panels and the power produced from here will be transmitted to the Jigna Power Sub-station of the Power Corp.
The electricity produced will be divided into two "A" and "B" sections of Mirzapur and the remaining electricity will be supplied to Allahabad.
Officials told Modi and Macron that the generation of power will begin with the first sun rays and the plant will shut down with sunset.
The plant has 318,650 solar plates, with each plate having a generation capacity of 315 watt. The plant was completed in 18 months, an official told IANS. This power plant can feed power to 1.5 lakh households every day.
The French President reached the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport here in the morning by a special plane and was received by Modi, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Adityanath.