PM Narendra Modi to open bridge over Brahmaputra to boost Northeast connectivity
In a bid to enhance connectivity in the North Eastern region, key to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s Act East policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate The Bogibeel rail-and-road bridge over the Brahmaputra river in Assam on 25 December.
The 4.94 km bridge is touted as the longest rail-and-road bridge in India and is situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh city in Assam. The bridge will provide connectivity between the rail network of the North and South banks of river Brahmaputra after the Saraighat rail-cum-road bridge at Guwahati.
“The bridge will accelerate socio-economic development of upper Assam and the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh. It has been constructed for a double line broad gauge track and a three lane road; this bridge is aimed at being the lifeline of the North Eastern part of the country and will facilitate connectivity between the North and South banks of Brahmaputra in the Eastern region of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh,” a spokesperson for the Northeast Frontier Railway said.
The bridge will also provide road connectivity through NH 37 on the South Bank of the river to NH-52 on the North Bank and a 170 km long shorter route via the North Bank of the river to Dibrugarh and help in the decongestion of traffic in Guwahati.
It will also cut the train travel time from Guwahati to Delhi by around three hours.
The construction of the bridge also assumes strategic importance as it will facilitate the rapid movement of troops along India’s nearly 4,000 km border with China. “The bridge will enhance the national security of the eastern region of India by facilitating swift movement of defence forces and their equipment. The Government of India has given utmost importance to this bridge project by declaring it a national project in 2007, thereby assuring availability of funds for speedy construction,” the spokesperson said.
The Bogibeel bridge project was part of the Assam accord in 1985 and included in the union budget in 1997-98. The foundation stone of the project was laid by former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee in 2002 at Dibrugarh. The estimated sanctioned cost of the project is Rs 5,920 crore and it was to be completed by December.
Underlining his government’s effort to develop the region, union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday inaugurated several road projects worth Rs 9,533 crore in Arunachal Pradesh.
Gadkari laid the foundation for national highway projects at separate events in Roing and Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh. He was accompanied by the state chief minister Pema Khandu and union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju. In Roing, Gadkari also inaugurated bridges across Dibang and Lohit river rystem, with a total length 30.95 km and cost of Rs 1,508.30 crore -- a move that will reduce the distance between Roing and Pasighat by 300 km and six hours.
The minister stated that the road network in Arunachal Pradesh has increased from 1804 km to 2885 km in the last four years and that a sum of Rs 28,000 crore is being spent on construction of highways in the state.
“These projects will improve the connectivity between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and between district headquarters in the state by reducing travel time and distance. The projects will create new employment opportunities for people in the region and ensure socio-economic development. These projects are also of strategic importance to the nation,” Gadkari added.