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PM inaugurates 13-km, two-lane Kollam bypass

Kollam: Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially declared open the much-awaited Kollam bypass on National Highway-66.

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The 13 km-long two-lane bypass, with a project cost of Rs 352 crore, will cut travel time between Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram districts of Kerala and is expected to decongest the traffic in Kollam town.

The bypass includes three major bridges over the Ashtamudi Lake, having a total length of 1540 metres.

Inaugurating the long-pending project, Modi said roads and bridges not only connect towns and villages but also connect aspirations with achievements and optimism with opportunities.

"We have often seen that infrastructure projects get stalled for various reasons. Public money is wasted due to cost and time over-runs," Modi said.

"We decided that this culture of wastage of public money cannot continue," he said.

The Prime Minister said he was surprised to know that certain projects were delayed by 20 to 30 years, adding that it was a crime to deprive the common man of the benefits of a project for such a long time.

"When we construct roads and bridges, we do not only connect towns and villages. We also connect aspirations with achievements, optimism with opportunities and hope with happiness," Modi said.

"When we formed government, only 56 per cent of rural habitations were connected by a road. Today more than 90 per cent of rural habitations are connected by a road. I am sure that we will definitely achieve the target of 100 per cent soon," he said.

Regional air connectivity has also improved immensely in the last four years, Modi said. He also said his government has worked hard in the tourism sector.

"India's ranking in the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum moved from 65th to 40th rank. India has been ranked at third place in the new Power Ranking in the 2018 report of the World Travel and Tourism Council," the Prime Minister said.

On the newly opened Kollam bypass, Modi said the project was completed with the effective participation of the state government.

"With the co-operation of the state government, we could complete it in an effective manner," he said.

Modi's words assume significance in the wake of the ongoing war of words between the ruling CPI(M) and the BJP staking claim on its completion.

The Prime Minister said the introduction of e-visa was a "gamechanger" in the tourism industry. "This facility is now available in 166 countries across the world."

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his government has fulfilled the developmental promises made to the Prime Minister when it came to power.

"Now, I can say proudly that Kerala has fulfilled the promise given to the Prime Minister when we came to power. All these developments are for the people's welfare," he added.
Also Read : Kartarpur Corridor: Meeting held to discuss land acquisition



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