Country all set to get its longest rail-cum-road bridge

GUWAHATI, Dec 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the country’s longest rail-cum-road bridge over the Brahmaputra at Bogibeel in Assam on 25 December.
The strategically important 4.94-km-long bridge, was a part of the Assam Accord and sanctioned in 1997-’98.
Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said almost 75 percent of the 4,000-km long border that India shares with China is in Arunachal Pradesh, and the bridge would help in logistical support for the Indian Army manning the border.
The bridge is situated 17 kms downstream of Dibrugarh city in Assam, and it has been constructed for double-line broad gauge track along with three-lane roads, he said.
“This bridge will be the lifeline of the northeastern part of the country and will facilitate connectivity between the north and south banks of river Brahmaputra in the eastern region of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
“The remote districts of Anjaw, Changlang, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley, Dibang Valley and Tirap of Arunachal Pradesh will be greatly benefited,” Sharma said.
The foundation stone of the project was laid by former prime minister HD Deve Gowda on 22 January, 1997, while work commenced on 21 April, 2002, under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government. The 25th of December also happens to be Vajpayee’s birth anniversary.
Because of the inordinate delay in implementation, the cost of the project escalated by 85 percent to Rs 5,960 crore from the sanctioned estimated cost of Rs 3,230.02 crore. The total length of the bridge was also revised to 4.94 kms from the earlier 4.31 kms.
Realizing its strategic importance, the central government had declared the construction of the bridge as a national project in 2007, thereby assuring availability of fund for speedy construction.