The Dhola Sadiya bridge, India’s longest, is set to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Assam on Friday. Built over the Lohit river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra in Assam, the 9.15-km-long structure has several distinguishing factors.
- The bridge, which can bear the weight of military trucks and equipment, is located around 100 km aerial distance away from the India-China border.
- It is expected to boost defence infrastructure and activities in the sensitive North East region, especially considering the country’s long dispute over Arunachal Pradesh with China.
- Construction on the bridge began in 2011 and was completed at a cost of approximately Rs 950 crore. Work on the bridge was initiated under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s regime.
- The structure is 3.35 km longer than the famous Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai.
- The bridge will mark the beginning of the three-year anniversary celebrations of the ruling National Democratic Alliance government.
The bridge will improve connectivity between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, which is currently quite poor. It is expected to especially help the people of Arunachal access the railhead at Tinsukia and the airport at Dibrugarh. Arunachal does not have a civilian airport of its own. “Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have huge strategic value to the country,” Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said. “Since the bridge is located close to our border with China, it will help quick movement of military troops and artillery in times of conflict.”