Addressing a gathering at the Asramam ground in Kollam , at the completion of the Kollam Bypass infrastructure development project, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi said that infrastructure development has been the priority of his Government and the Kollam bypass is an example.
Highlighting the progress in road connectivity, the PM 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% in 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.
“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,” said the Prime Minister.
Kollam Bypass infrastructure development
He underlined the fact that Kollam infrastructure development project took three years to complete from final approval. The Prime Minister told that his Government believes in sabkasaath, sabkavikas (collective effort, inclusive growth) for improving the lifestyle of the common man and appreciated the contribution and cooperation of Kerala government in completion of the project.
Kollam Bypass will reduce travel time between Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram and decongest the traffic in Kollam town.
Other infrastructure projects under review
Talking about infrastructure projects in Kerala, the PM said under Bharatmala, a detailed project report for the Mumbai-Kanyakumari corridor is under preparation. .
The Prime Minister 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 crores have been reviewed at his end.
Tourism is the hallmark of Kerala’s economic development
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that tourism is the hallmark of Kerala’s economic development and a principal contributor to the State’s economy. He added that recognising the tourism potential of Kerala, the government has sanctioned 7 projects in the State under the SwadeshDarshan and PRASAD schemes with funds worth Rs. 550 crore.
Speaking on the importance of the Tourism Sector, the Prime Minister highlighted the remarkable growth in this sector. 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 3rd 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. While 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.