Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the Bogibeel bridge, India’s longest rail and road bridge, connecting Assam’s Dibrugarh to Dehamji bordering Arunachal Pradesh, News18 reported. The 4.94-km long bridge across the Brahmaputra river was built at a cost of Rs 5,900 crore.
The bridge is expected to improve defence logistics along the border in Arunachal Pradesh with China, and is strong enough to bear the movement of military tanks, reported The Indian Express. It will reduce travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by three hours and between Delhi and Dibrugarh by four hours.
The double-decker bridge has two railway lines on the bottom deck and a three-lane road on the upper deck.
Chief engineer of the project Mahender Singh told the Hindustan Times that the first passenger train will be flagged off on Tuesday. “This will enable the people of Arunachal Pradesh and north Assam to come to Dibrugarh which has better healthcare and education facilities,” Singh said, adding that goods trains have already started plying on the lines.
The Bogibeel bridge project was part of the 1985 Assam Accord and was sanctioned in 1997-’98. Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda had laid the foundation stone on January 22, 1997, and work on the project was flagged off by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on April 21, 2002. The inauguration of the bridge coincides with the 94th birth anniversary of Vajpayee, who died in August this year.