Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday will inaugurate India’s longest railroad bridge, Bogibeel Bridge over the Brahmaputra river. The bridge will establish connections between south bank of the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Dibrugarh district and Silapathar in Dhemaji district, bordering Arunachal Pradesh. The 4.94-kilometre bridge will reduce the train travel time between Tinsukia in Assam to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh by over 10 hours. Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson Nitin Bhattacharya said, “It will take five-and-a-half hours compared to the 15-20 hours it currently takes. Passengers had to change trains multiple times and take a long-winded route.” The Tinsukia-Naharlagun Intercity Express will run for five days a week.
The bridge is built in an area which falls in the seismic zone and receives high rainfall. The 14-coach chair-car train will depart from Tinsukia at 4 pm and reach Naharlagun at 9.15 pm. The train will depart from Naharlagun at 6:30 AM the following day and reach Tinsukia at 11 AM, added Bhattacharya.
People of Dhemaji would be able to easily access the major hospitals, medical colleges and airport in Dibrugarh through the bridge and train. Bogibeel bridge is also likely to help the people of Itanagar as it is located in just over 15 km from Naharlagun. The total cost of the project after its completion was Rs. 5,920 crore. The bridge falls under the many infrastructure projects planned by the country to improve logistics along the Arunachal Pradesh border.
Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda laid the foundation stone of the bridge in 1997. The construction work of the bridge was inaugurated in 2002 by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The inauguration of the Bogibeel bridge on December 25 happens to be on the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and is observed as the ‘Good Governance Day’ by the Centre.
(With Agency inputs)