After a wait of over four decades, the 6.8 km two-lane Alappuzha bypass on NH66 was jointly inaugurated by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a virtually organised function on Thursday.
While, Vijayan attended the virtual inauguration from Thiruvananthapuram, Gadkari participated in the function from New Delhi.
The Kerala Chief Minister lauded the joint efforts of the Centre and the state government in executing the project.
He said that the bypass will reduce the traffic bottlenecks on the Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam stretch. Earlier, due to massive traffic jams, it was a one hour travel on the stretch, but now the journey would be completed in less than ten minutes.
Vijayan added that of the total cost of Rs 364 crore for the project, the Centre had provided Rs 164 crore, whereas the state government spent Rs 200 crore.
Gadkari had invited the Kerala Chief Minister to New Delhi to discuss the pending highway projects and said that the problems could only be fixed if there is proper communication between the two governments.
Speaking on the occasion, Kerala PWD Minister G. Sudhakaran said: "This is a dream come true and the will and support of both the central and the state governments has transformed this project into a reality."
He lashed out at the Congress, saying that the project got delayed during its regime for several years on various accounts.
Sudhakaran hailed the services rendered by the PWD engineers and said that it was the hard work and technical proficiency of the team which helped in the completion of the project.
Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, V. Muraleedharan said: "The will power of the Narendra Modi government and especially of Union Minister Gadkari has to be mentioned in this context because of which the project could be completed."
Alappuzha Congress Committee president, M. Liju said, "It was AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal who had completed all the basic work of the Alappuzha bypass when he was the local MP. Not inviting him for this function is a bad political precedent and the CPI-(M) and BJP seem to have joined together for a Congress-Mukt Bharat."