16 years after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced its construction, PM Modi will mark the completion of India’s longest railroad Bogibeel bridge. The railroad bridge will be dedicated to the public on former Prime Minister Vajpayee’s birth anniversary. The 4.94 km long double-decked railroad bridge which spans Brahmaputra river will play a strategic role in reducing connectivity time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The lower deck of the bridge river are equipped with two railway lines, which will cut-short travel time between Tinsukia in Assam to Naharlagun town in Arunachal Pradesh by 10 hours. It will also help curb the ‘tyranny of distance’ between Delhi and Arunachal Pradesh, as it will reduce the travel time of 37 hours to 34 hours. PM Modi will also inaugurate Tinsukia-Naharlagun Intercity Express, which will run five days a week.
The upper deck will connect the south bank of the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Dibrugarh district with Silapathar in Dhemaji district, bordering Arunachal Pradesh. The railroad bridge can easily withstand the defence logistic transport towards the Arunachal Pradesh border with China.
The railroad bridge will bolster infrastructure development of Dibrugarh and Dhemaji. Major hospitals and colleges are situated in the Dibrugarh district and are set to become a big business hub after Guwahati. Connectivity with Dhemaji will give people access to premium health services in Dibrugarh.
This project completion missed several deadlines, and incurred expense more than the initial estimates. The Bogibeel bridge was initially granted the sum of Rs 3230 crore for construction of a 4.31 km long bridge. But, later the length was extended to 4.94 km. The increase in length and other factors increased the budget to Rs 4857 crore. The construction of the bridge was heavily hampered by severe rainfall, mostly throughout the year. The construction majorly took place between November and March.
“Bridging the Brahmaputra is in itself is challenging. It is a high rainfall area and falls in the seismic zone. This is a bridge which is unique in many ways. It is the longest in the country,” said Pranav Jyoti Sarma, CPRO of Northeast Frontier Railways.
The inauguration of rail-bridge on 25 December will also coincide with the ‘Good Governance Day’, celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away in August this year.
Prime Minister Modi will also flag off India’s fastest self-powered engine less train called Train18 on 29 December from Varanasi.