Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged off the first train on the Bogibeel Bridge from Assam’s Dhemaji district. Before waving the green flag for the Tinsukia-Naharlagun Intercity Express, the PM inaugurated the 4.94 km long Bogibeel Bridge from the Dibrugarh side across the river Brahmaputra.
Addressing a public meeting following the inauguration of India’s longest railroad bridge, the PM said that it was his government under which key infrastructure projects have assumed top priority.
“Delayed infrastructure projects were adversely impacting India’s development trajectory. When we assumed office, we added speed to these projects and worked towards their quick completion,” the PM said.
“Things have changed after May 2014 and topmost priority is being accorded to key projects,” PM Modi said.
It is noteworthy that the foundation stone of the Bogibeel Bridge, inaugurated today, was laid 21 years ago on 22 January 1997 by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. Work began on 21 April 2002 under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government.
“About 16 years ago, Atal-ji came here. He had a vision for the development of the Bogibeel Bridge. This Bridge is also a tribute to that vision of Atal-ji,” the PM said.
“When Vajpayee-ji’s Government lost power in 2004, several key infrastructure projects of his era were not completed,” the PM told the gathering.
The PM said that the bridge will help the patients in the Northeast access improved connectivity and faster transportation.
“This is not just a bridge, but a lifeline for the lakhs of people in this region,” the PM said.
“The inauguration of the Bogibeel Bridge is a historic feat and I am glad to be here in Assam, among you all on this special day,” he added.
The PM also told the gathering that the Centre, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh governments are constantly striving for good governance and many more projects will be launched in the coming days.
Situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh and Dhemaji, the bridge over the river Brahmaputra has double-line broad gauge railway tracks on the lower platform and a three-lane road on the upper. The bridge reduces travel time from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh to just four hours. It significantly cuts down train travel between Delhi and Dibrugarh by three hours.
Bogibeel Bridge is strong enough to allow movement of heavy main battle tanks of the Indian Army. In fact, the Army stands to gain immensely from the bridge as it shortens the time taken for troop transport from Assam to the Arunachal-China border.
Built at a cost of Rs 5,900 crore the bridge is being hailed as an engineering marvel by Indian standards. With a serviceable life of around 120 years, it is India’s only fully-welded bridge constructed under European welding standards. The bridge has 39 girders of 125 meter and two girders of 33-meter span.
Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were present with the PM during the inauguration.