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Kerala: PM Modi inaugurates Kollam bypass, assures 100 per cent rural connectivity

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Kollam, Jan 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated Kollam bypass in Kerala. The bypass, by now popularly called the Kollam bypass, is a two-lane, 13 km stretch built at a cost of Rs 352 crores from Mevaram to Kavanad in Kollam district of the state.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan felicitates Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kollam. Courtesy: ANI news

With the inauguration of the bypass, people travelling on the National Highway 66 from Kochi and Alappuzha can proceed towards Thiruvananthapuram without entering Kollam town.

After the inauguration, PM Modi said, "We've often seen infrastructure projects get stalled for various reasons. Public money is wasted due to cost and time over-runs. We decided that this culture of wastage of public money can't continue. Through PRAGATI, we're accelerating projects and overcoming problems."

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"When we formed a 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, " said PM Modi.

PM extolled the energy and dedication of Keralites, saying "The coast-line and culture of Kerala has drawn people from all over the world. Kerala has shown that when people work hard, nothing is impossible. There is both Shakti and Bhakti here."

He went on to say that four years back did anyone think that India could be the fastest growing economy? "In 4 years, we have made the transition from being one of the fragile five nations to the fastest growing economy, PM said.

Months ahead of Lok Sabha elections, the Kollam bypass has become a bone of contention between the political parties as far as its inauguration is concerned. The state government had announced that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate it on February 2. But in a coup of sorts, the BJP said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will do it on January 15.

Left leader argued that the construction started while CPM's P. Rajendran was the MP and the third phase gained momentum after the Pinarayi Vijayan government came to power in 2016.

The BJP alleged that the state government was trying to take credit for it while it was done with the help of the central government. Hence, the development project has become a bone of contention between CPM and BJP.

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