Kollam bypass inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi: Giving a major boost to Kerala's infrastructure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his third official visit to Kollam, inaugurated the 13-km long, 2-lane Kollam bypass on National Highway-66 (NH 66). According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the Kollam bypass has been constructed at a cost of Rs 352 crore. The highway has three major bridges over Ashtamudi Lake, with a length of 1,540 metres in total. The big infrastructure project has been developed in order to ease traffic congestion around the Kollam town as well as to reduce the travel time between Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. While dedicating the Kollam bypass to the nation, PM Modi said that only 56 per cent of the rural habitat was connected with roads in India when he came to power in the year 2014. He also said that in India, many infrastructure projects get stalled after their inauguration. Therefore, a huge amount of public money gets wasted, he said. The Prime Minister also claimed that he evaluated the development projects and engaged in meetings with all departmental secretaries as well as state chief secretaries. He added that some of the infrastructure projects get delayed for more than 20 to 30 years and believes that is a crime towards the common people. According to a press release issued by the ministry, till the month of May, last year, the state of Kerala had National Highways of 1782 km. However, this length has gone up to more than 2280 km including the in principal National Highways. In Kerala, some of the ongoing National Highway projects include the Thalassery-Mahe Bypass, Alappuzha Bypass on NH 66, Thiruvananthapuram Bypass, Kuthiran Tunnel along Wadakkanchery-Thrissur section of NH 544. The ministry in its press release stated that on completion, these infra projects will generate new socio- economic opportunities for the people. In addition to this, the projects will also boost trade and tourism in this region, the release said.