Alappuzha bypass inaugurated by Nitin Gadkari jointly with Pinarayi Vijayan
Alappuzha: The Alappuzha bypass, the construction of which was initiated 30 years ago, has been opened for public.
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the bypass at 1 pm on Thursday. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan was the chief guest.
Kerala PWD Minister G Sudhakaran presided over the function. V. K. Singh, Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, V. Muraleedharan, Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, state minister Thomas Isaac and P. Thilothaman, MP A. M. Ariff and municipal chairperson Saumya Raj were among those present.
Rajya Sabha MP K. C. Venugopal had announced that he would not attend the function as he was not officially invited.
The bypass is 6.8 kilometres long and extends from Kalarkodu to Kommadi on National Highway 66 (old NH 47). Out of this, 4.8 kilometres including the approach road is an elevated highway.
The 3.2 kilometre long elevated highway is the first to be built over sea and is the largest. Vehicles plying towards north or south can now travel without entering Alappuzha town.
The central and state governments have spent Rs 174 crore each to construct the bypass. Kerala spent an additional Rs 25 crore to set up lights on the bypass and assistance provided to the railways. The central government project only had 92 street lights but now the bypass has 412.
Congress activists stage protest
Earlier, Congress activists had staged a protest to the bypass inauguration venue alleging that Rajya Sabha MP K. C. Venugopal was not officially invited to the function.
The protest staged by the Alappuzha DCC was stopped by police near Kaithamuna junction.
The protesters alleged that K. C. Venugopal, who was former MP from Alappuzha, was the real architect behind the bypass.
However, PWD Minister G Sudhakaran responded that the final list of invitees was decided by the centre and not the state. He added that Kerala had included the name of K. C. Venugopal and that it was his decision whether to attend the event or not.