Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the inauguration of the Kollam Bypass on NH 66, in Kollam, Kerala on January 15, 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the inauguration of the Kollam Bypass on NH 66, in Kollam, Kerala on January 15, 2019.

Infrastructure development a priority for government, says Modi in Kerala

NetIndian News Network

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said infrastructure development was the priority of his government and the 13 km, two-lane Kollam bypass on National Highway (NH)-66 in Kerala that he dedicated to the nation earlier in the day was an example in this regard.
Kerala Governor Justice P. Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister of Tourism K J Alphons along with other dignitaries were present at the dedication ceremony.
Addressing a gathering at he Asramam ground in Kollam later, Modi said the project had got the final sanction in January 2015 and it had now been completed.
He said his government believed in "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas" for ease of living for the common man and appreciated the contribution and cooperation of the Kerala government in completion of the project.
The Kollam Bypass will reduce travel time between Alappuzha and state capital Thiruvananthapuram and decongest the traffic in Kollam town.
Talking about the projects in Kerala, the Prime Minister said that about 500 km of national highway has been added in Kerala since May 2014. He added that under Bharatmala, a detailed project report for the Mumbai-Kanyakumari corridor is under preparation. 
Modi said that the government is committed to ensure timely completion of all the projects.  He said that through PRAGATI, more than 250 projects worth Rs. 12 lakh crore have been reviewed at his end.
Highlighting the progress in road connectivity, Modi said that compared to the previous Government, the pace of construction in national highways and rural roads has almost doubled. More than 90% of rural habitations have been connected today compared to only 56% under the previous government.  He expressed hope that the government will reach the target of 100% rural road connectivity soon.
Regional air connectivity and expansion of railway lines have shown marked improvement resulting in creation of job opportunities, he said.
“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," he said.
About Ayushman Bharat, he said that 8 lakh patients have been benefitted under this scheme while the government has sanctioned more than 1100 crores rupees till date for the scheme. He urged the Government of Kerala to expedite the implementation of Ayushman Bharat scheme, so that the people of Kerala can be benefitted.
Modi said tourism is the hallmark of Kerala’s economic development and a principal contributor to the state’s economy. He added that recognizing the tourism potential of Kerala, the government has sanctioned seven projects in the state under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD schemes with funds worth Rs. 550 crore.
He said India posted a growth of 14% over 2016 in the tourism sector while the world grew at an average of 7%. He added that India now stands at third place in Power Ranking in the 2018 report of the World Travel & Tourism Council. Foreign tourist arrivals in India increased by 42% from around 70 lakh in 2013 to about 1 crore in 2017. The foreign exchange earned by India due to tourism witnessed a jump of 50%, up from $ 18 billion in 2013 to $ 27 billion in 2017. He described the introduction of the e-Visa as a game changer for Indian tourism which is now available to nationals of 166 countries. 
Earlier in the day, Modi visited Odisha where he said the government was committed to the all-round development of the state and of eastern India as a whole.
He visited Balangir, where he launched several development projects worth Rs. 1500 crores and laid foundation stones of various projects.
He dedicated a Multi-Modal Logistics Park (MMLP) at Jharsuguda to the nation. The MMLP will make Jharsuguda the prime hub of logistics in the region. 
He also inaugurated the Balangir-Bichhupali railway line built at an estimated cost of Rs. 115 crore.
Noting that it was his third visit to Odisha in the past three weeks, he told a gathering at the Railway Yard in Balangir that his government was making continuous efforts for the development of the state and eastern India.
He also dedicated to the nation the new bridge over Nagavali River, doubling of railway lines between Barpali-Dungaripali and Balangir-Deogaon and electrification of 813 km of Jharsuguda-Vizinagaram and Sambalpur-Angul lines. 
He laid the foundation stone of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Odisha's Sonepur at an estimated cost of Rs. 15.81 crore. 
“Education leads to human resource development. But it is connectivity that transforms such resources into opportunity. Inauguration of 6 railway projects is an effort of our endeavour to enhance connectivity. It will facilitate movement of people, make mineral resources more accessible to industry and help farmers to take their produce to far-off markets, furthering ‘Ease of Living’ for Odisha’s citizens," he said.
Citing his commitment for the preservation of culture and heritage, the Prime Minister said that it would strengthen cultural links and enhance the tourism potential in the state. He expressed his happiness over the renovation and restoration works at the Nilamadhav and Siddheswar temples in Gandhaharadi (Boudh). 
Modi also inaugurated restoration and renovation work of Ranipur Jharial group of monuments in Balangir and Asurgarh Fort in Kalahandi.

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