A perpetual traffic bottleneck for commuters on the national highway connecting Thiruvananthapuram with other districts in Kerala will become a thing of the past as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates a major bypass project on Tuesday.
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. 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.
Tomorrow, Kollam bypass will be dedicated to the nation. For Kollam, it is a long cherished dream come true. When this Govt assumed office, only 23% of the works were in finished state. We kept our word of completing it in 1000 days, and finished the remaining 76% in 2.5 years. pic.twitter.com/K8geCKnEqp
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) January 14, 2019
Even though in terms of a geographical diversion, it may be marginal, but it is bound to save commuters precious time especially during peak hours on weekdays. It will also significantly reduce the congestion in Kollam town.
Funded equally by the state and the Centre, the bypass project has been executed in four phases and involves three major bridges over the Ashtamudi Lake with a total length of 1,540 metres.
Nod for the bypass was received during the previous Congress-led regime with an initial deadline of November 2017 — it was later pushed to November last year. Complete works were finished earlier this month paving the way for its opening.
The ruling LDF government claimed that it completed 76 per cent of the works during its term, thus fulfilling its promise of opening the stretch in 1000 days. The opening of the bypass has also been marred by attempts to take ownership for the project by the state’s leading parties, the CPM, Congress and the BJP.
As PM Modi inaugurates the bypass on Tuesday evening, he will be accompanied on the dais by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor P Sathasivam, Kollam MP NK Premachandran, MoS for Tourism KJ Alphons, PWD minister G Sudhakaran, Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma and Forests Minister K Raju.