**Bogibeel (Dibrugarh):** Bogibeel Bridge, the longest rail-cum-road bridge on Brahmaputra river, is all set to be inaugurated today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which will facilitate faster movement of troops to Arunachal Pradesh, the country’s eastern-most state that shares border with China.
The foundation stone of the bridge was laid in 1997 by the then Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. The construction, however, started only in 2002 when then (late) Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee inaugurated the construction works.
The 4.98 km-long bridge will not only reduce the distance for the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam but also facilitate faster movement of troops and supplies to the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh.
The bridge, situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh and Dhemaji, spans the Brahmaputra river, and will connect Assam’s Dibrugarh town with Dhemaji.
The bridge is located just over 20 km away from the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and therefore, is expected to act as an alternative to the Kolia Bhomora Setu in Tezpur, in providing connectivity to around five million people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Chief Engineer of the Northeast Frontier (NF) Railway’s Bogibeel Project, Mahendra Singh said 99 per cent of the bridge’s construction work has been completed. The rest of the work which includes ‘final finish’ would be done before December 20.
Project Director of Hindustan Construction Company Limited (HCC), R.V.R. Kishore said the bridge is designed in such a way that it can withstand the movement of major battle tanks of armed forces.
“We have also used fully welded guarder technology and high quality copper bearing steel to increase the durability of the bridge,” Kishore said.
The HCC was awarded a contract to construct the superstructure of Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in November 2011.
“The bridge will give easy and direct access to upper Assam from the rest of the country through Brahmaputra’s north bank, in contrast to the current route through Guwahati in the south bank which is long. Due to its location, the bridge will be of strategic importance to India as it will significantly enhance India’s ability to transport troops and supplies to its border in Arunachal Pradesh,” Kishore said.
“Bogibeel Bridge falls in seismic zone-V. This zone has been the most vulnerable to earthquakes with magnitudes in excess of seven on the Richter scale. To offer good stability to the heavy spans (1700 MT), they are provided with seismic restrainers,” Kishore said, adding the bridge is designed to withstand tremors up to 7 and beyond.
In May 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge, also referred to as the Bhupen Hazarika Setu. The bridge, connecting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, spans Lohit river — a major tributary of Brahmaputra, from the village of Dhola to Sadiya. At 9.15 km, it is the longest road bridge in India.