Kollam: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kollam bypass in Kerala on Tuesday. Narendra Modi, who arrived at the Air Force Technical area, proceeded to Kollam in a helicopter. He inaugurated Kollam bypass at a function organised at the Asramam Maidan at 4.50 pm. 

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan presided over the function. Governor P Sathasivam, ministers G Sudhakaran, Mercykutty Amma, P Raju, MLA Mukesh, MPs Suresh Gopi, NK Premachandran, V Muraleedharan and O Rajagopal MLA attended the inauguration.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Kerala on a one-day visit to inaugurate the 13.5 km bypass.  The bypass includes three major bridges over the Ashtamudi Lake, with a total length of 1540 metres. The total cost of making of the bypass was Rs 352 crore.

The project is expected to reduce travel time between Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram, and will also decongest traffic in Kollam town. The  Kollam bypass is a project equally funded by the state government and the Centre. The share of the state government is Rs 174 crore with respect to this project. 

Apparently, the Kollam bypass project was conceived long back in 1972 and the work on the final phase began on May 27, 2015. 

UDF, LDF and the Union government have been struggling to take credit for the bypass. The state government had announced that Pinarayi Vijayan would inaugurate the bypass on February 2. But in a move that surprised the state, the Centre informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would inaugurate the bypass on January 15.

 Modi kicked off the party’s campaign for the Lok Sabha poll at the Cantonment Ground at 5.30 pm. He will then proceed to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple at 7.15 pm. After commissioning the state’s first project under the Swadesh Darshan scheme at the temple premises, he will offer prayers there too. He will return to New Delhi at 8 pm.

Meanwhile, Modi had visited the parents of Doordarshan cameraman Achutyanand Sahu in Odisha's Balangir today. The journalist was killed in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada last October.