PM Modi inaugurates India’s longest Bogibeel Bridge

# Built over the river Brahmaputra in Assam, Bogibeel bridge is being opened 16 years after its construction work started in 2002. The inauguration comes as a mark of respect to late former PM AB Vajpayee.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated double-decker rail and road bridge on Brahmaputra river in Bogibeel near Dibrugarh in Assam on Tuesday (25 December).

The creation of this bridge between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will be safer and more secure. It is India’s longest and second long rail-road bridge in Asia. It has been prepared in 16 years. The 4.94 km long bridge is built on the Brahmaputra river in Dibrugarh of Assam.

Due to being close to the Arunachal Pradesh-Chinese border, it is very important from the strategic point of view. The double-decker bridge, the fourth across the Brahmaputra, has two railway lines on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the upper, strong enough to withstand movement of heavy military tanks. The most significant beneficiary will be the Army, whose convoys will now save an estimated three to four hours in their journey from Assam to their posts ner the 4000-km long border Arunachal-China border.

According to Defense sources, the biggest feature is that it has been made with the army’s heavy movement in mind. It can also bear the weight of a heavy tank, and if needed, fighter jet can be loaded on it as well.

“The Bogibeel bridge project was a part of the 1985 Assam Accord and was sanctioned in 1997-98. The foundation stone of the project was laid by then prime minister HD Deve Gouda on January 22, 1997, and commencement of work on the project was done by Atal Bihari Vajpayee on April 21, 2002. In fact, the inauguration of the bridge coincides with the 94th birth anniversary of Vajpayee, who passed away in August this year,” media reported.

According to The Indian Express, the project has missed several deadlines and has been a victim of political unwillingness and red tapes despite being granted a national project status in 2007. Changes to bridge design, revisions in the scope of the work and construction technology has resulted in the project’s cost escalating from the initial estimate of Rs 1,767 crore to Rs 5,800 crore — more than threefold. The challenge of building the bridge over a turbulent Brahmaputra river also added to the delay since most of the crucial work of the bridge could only happen during the November to March period.

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