Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday opened the Bogibeel bridge, country’s longest rail-road bridge in Assam’s Dibrugarh.
The opening of the bridge coincides with the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee under whose government the work started in 2002.
Constructed for Double Line Broad Gauge Track and three-lane road, this bridge will be the lifeline of the north eastern part of the country and will facilitate connectivity between south bank of the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Dibrugarh district with Silapathar in Dhemaji district, bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
The biggest advantage of the bridge will be easy movement of troops from southern to northern bank. This means travelling to the farthest most point of India’s border with China will be shortened by several hundred kilometres.
Pointing out that the Centre gave utmost importance to this Bridge Project by declaring it a national project in the year 2007 thereby assuring availability of fund for speedy construction, sources in the Northeast Frontier Railway said. Bogibeel Bridge Project was also the part of Assam Accord and was sanctioned in the year 1997-98.
The foundation stone of the Project was laid by the then prime minister H D Deve Gowda on January 22, 1997. However, work on the project commenced during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s regime on April 21, 2002.
The bridge has a total length of 4.94 km (revised from earlier 4.31 km).
The sanctioned estimated cost of the project was Rs 3,230.02 crore. Revised estimate of the project amounts to Rs 4,857 crore which has been approved and sanctioned by the Railway Board to cover escalation and increased bridge length, the spokesperson of the NF railway said.
The remote districts of Anjaw, Changlang, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley, Dibang Valley and Tirap of Arunachal Pradesh will be greatly benefited by this bridge.
The bridge will reduce the road distance from Dibrugarh, in Assam to Itanagar by 150 km and the railway travel distance between these two points will be reduced by 705 km.