RAIL-ROAD BRIDGE: PM Modi opens India’s largest rail plus road bridge across River Brahmaputra in Assam

NEWS / Bogibeel

HIGHLIGHT: The bridge will help in faster movement of troops and supplies to China border

GUWAHATI: The nation’s longest rail-road bridge, the Bogibeel Bridge that has a distance of about five km over River Brahmaputra in Assam, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. The bridge is strategically important too, as it took the railway system closer to the China border, which will help faster movement of troops and military supplies. Also, in the event of a war, fighter jets can directly land on this bridge.

The bridge connects the south bank of the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Dibrugarh district with Silapathar in Dhemaji district on the Arunachal border.

The opening of the facility was done on the birth anniversary day of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee who had made the first push for the bridge project. It was constructed at a cost of about Rs 6,000crore. The rail-road bridge is described as Asia’s second largest such facility.

It was in 1977 that the then prime minister HD Deve Gowda laid the foundation stone for the project. It took over 20 years for completion of works. In military terms, it would now be easier for troops stationed on the Chinese border to get supplies from Tezpur. The journey from Dibrugarh to Arunachal Pradesh by train, by detour so far, was of 500km, which is now reduced to just 100km, thanks to the launch of the new bridge. 

Now swift movement of troops and defence supplies to the Chinese border is possible.

Some 75 per cent of the 4,000km border that India has with China runs through Arunachal Pradesh.

The work on the bridge started in 2002 when Atal Behari Vajyapee was the prime minister. The bridge would have a life-span of 125 years, as per the government’s claim. It is fashioned on the lines of the bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark.

The bridge has three-lane roads, up and down, on top of the bridge, while the two-line rail track is laid below the road system. The bridge exists 32metres above the water level.

Arriving in Dibrugarh, the prime minister travelled to the other side of the bridge at Jonai, close to the Arunachal border, and addressed a massive public rally there. The PM also flagged off the first passenger train through the bridge, that started from Tinsukia in Assam to Nagarlahun in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Bogibeel is the six bridge across the Brahmaputra, the region’s main lifeline. 

Modi told his audience that this was the third bridge completed and inaugurated by his government in the last five years, while the previous decades after Independence saw only the launch of the three other bridges. IHN-NN

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