The official X handle of CPI(M) Kerala on March 25 posted a video of a mountain highway with the following caption: “The 1251 km long mountain highway from Nandarapadav, Kasargod to Parassala, Thiruvananthapuram will come up at a cost of Rs 3500 crores.”

Several users reacted to the tweet mentioning that the Union government had funded the Hill Highway project and hence, the credit should go to the BJP government.

Right-Wing influencer Rishi Bagree (@rishibagree) quote-tweeted the above-mentioned tweet made by CPI(M) Kerala and mentioned: “Left promoting Modi Govt infra work 🙌😂”. The tweet has received over 1 Lakh views and has been reposted over 1,500 times. (Archive)

Another X user, Sreejith Panickar (@PanickarS), quote-tweeted the same tweet from CPI(M) mentioning that the CPI(M) was promoting the BJP government’s projects. The tweet has received over 1.5 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 900 times. (Archive)

Further, Congress Kerala tweeted on March 26 mentioning that the project in question was conceived by the late Congress leader and former Kerala CM Oommen Chandy during his term between 2004-06. When Congress again gained power in the state in 2011, the project was again pushed forward by them.

Fact Check

On running a relevant keyword search we came across a news report by the Hindu that was published in January 2017. The report titled, “KIIFB funds for hill, coastal highways”, mentions that the funds from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) are being utilized to build a 1919.4 km hill highway and coastal highway from the north to south of the State. The expenses for the same as pegged at nearly Rs. 5,000 crores.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan gave the green flag to both the highways in August 2016. The report also mentioned that the initial phase would cover nine districts, which were Kasaragod, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur, Idukki, Ernakulam, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram.

We came across another news report by the Indian Express published in September 2017. The report mentions the proposed 1251 km hill highway project between Nandarapadavu in Kasaragod district and Parassala in Thiruvananthapuram district was originally mooted by the Congress government led by Oommen Chandy in Kerala. The CPI(M) government under Pinarayi Vijayan gave the final nod to begin the construction of the highway.

Another report by the Hindu from February 20 of this year mentions state public works minister P A Mohammed Riyas as saying that the state government aims to complete the entire construction of NH 66 (Hill Highway from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram) by 2025.

We also checked the KIIFB website wherein under ‘Major Projects’ one can find the coastal and hill highway project mentioned.

As per the official website, the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) was established in 1999. We found a newsletter by the KIIFB published in August 2023 where one can find the status of the project mentioned as of the date of the release of the newsletter.

Therefore, the claim that the Hill Highway project in Kerala has been funded by the Union government is false. The idea of the project was conceived during the Congress regime in the state under the late Oommen Chandy, but work began under the current CPI(M) government. The project is funded by the state infrastructure investment board, KIIFB.

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