The Bogibeel Bridge, which connects the north and south banks of the Brahmaputra, will boost freight and strategic military movement in the Northeast.
On Christmas day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Asia’s second-longest rail-road bridge, the Bogibeel Bridge. The bridge, which connects Dibrugarh, Assam, on the south bank of the Brahmaputra, to Dhemaji in north Assam, was built at the cost of Rs 4,800 crore. Construction work took 16 years to complete; it was started in 2002 under former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Piyush Goyal, Union Railway Minister, tweeted,
Historic Day for Railways: In a milestone event, the 1st freight train ran on Bogibeel Bridge, India's longest road-cum-rail bridge with a phenomenal stretch of 4.94 kilometres, connecting Assam with Arunachal Pradesh and opening the doors to enhanced connectivity in the Northeast.
The Bogibeel Bridge will enhance trade connectivity in the Northeastern state. Trials have already been initiated, with good trains plying on the tracks since December 3. India's longest bridge, the Dhola-Sadiya over the Lohit River, was inaugurated by Modi in 2017.
Here are a few things to know about Asia’s second-longest rail-road bridge in India:
- The initial plan to build the rail-cum-road bridge was mentioned in the Assam Accord in 1985.
- The design is inspired by the 7.8 km bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark.
- The bridge comprises three-lane roads on top and a double-line track below.
- Post-inauguration, the distance between Arunachal Pradesh and Dibrugarh will reduce to 400 km from 500 km.
- It will also help India in deploying armed forces and infantry along the Chinese border. The bridge can withstand 80 tonnes of weight, implying that it can allow passage of India’s heavy tanks such as Arjun MK II battle tank, reports Firstpost.
Bogibeel Bridge comes under infrastructure projects planned to enhance logistics in the Northeastern states. The bridge was initially estimated to cost Rs 3,230.02 crore, but the escalation was attributed to an increase in the length - almost 5 km from the proposed 4.31 km.
Apart from the bridge, other infrastructure projects are in the pipeline, including the trans-Arunachal highway on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, new roads, and rail links, reports India Today.
These projects are being built over rivers and major tributaries such as the Dibang, Lohit, Subansiri, and Kameng.