New Delhi, June 2: Just days after the Bhupen Hazarika bridge was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is making headlines for an accident that left two people injured. Reports say that one of the two injured men, Arup Buragohain, 27, lost his left arm. The other injured, Dhirenjyoti Chiring, 18 sustained some injuries. According to reports, the two residents of Meseki village were travelling from Dhola to Sadiya and accidentally hit one of the temporary camps with their speeding motorcycle on Monday night at 9:30 pm. Reports say the accident happened because there were no lights on the bridge.
People in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh ave now appealed to the government to install street lights on the bridge. All Tai Ahom Students’ Union Sadiya subdivision committee president Jatin Buragohain told The Telegraph, “You don’t move in a house and then propose for lighting arrangement, do you? In the absence of lights, the bridge will become quite vulnerable to accidents and militant attack.”
On May 26, PM Modi inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya bridge in Assam’s Tinsukiya amidst much fanfare and named it after Assamese legend Bhupen Hazarika. Ironically, Modi asked the crowds to celebrate the inauguration of India’s longest bridge that ad no street lights by lighting their mobile phone flashlights. The crowds responded by flashing their mobile phone lights. Modi even broke security protocol and took a stroll on the bridge, carrying out a recce.
Modi also hit out at the previous UPA government saying that had the Manmohan Singh government worked effectively, India could have got this bridge 10 years ago. “In 2003, one of our MLAs Jagdish Bhuyan wrote to Vajpayee ji requesting for such a bridge. He approved. Then soon, the government changed and the work on the bridge kept on getting delayed,” Modi had said.
The 9.15 km-long bridge built over the Brahmaputra River reduces travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by at least four hours. The construction of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge began in 2011. It was slated to be opened in 2015, but was delayed. The Dhola-Sadiya bridge exceeds the length of Bandra-Worli Sea link in Mumbai by 3.55 kilometres. The bridge has been built using hydraulic rigs and seismic buffers keeping in mind that the zone is a highly-seismic one. The reported cost of building the bridge is Rs. 950 crore. (Also Read: 10 facts about the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge)
While the bridge has been seen as an infrastructure marvel, the absence of lights is a disappointment. It now remains to be seen how soon the bridge is lit and there are actual lights to celebrate it.