Narendra Modi, our honourable Prime Minister, inaugurated India’s longest rail-road bridge- Bogibeel Bridge- in Assam on the birth anniversary (25-December) of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Flagging off the first passenger train through the Bogibeel Bridge, PM Modi said that a dream for the people of the Northeast for generations had now turned into reality. The bridge which is of immense economic and strategic significance for the nation will also boost ease of living in the region, he added.
Bogibeel Bridge is a 4.94 km long bridge with a double-decker line of 1676 mm broad gauge containing a railway line on the lower deck and a 2-lane road on the upper. It is constructed to improve defence along the border with China.
The Bogibeel Bridge is sturdy enough to bear the movement of heavy military tanks and will help to support fighter jet landings. Moreover, it will also assist our military forces to accelerate the dispatch of the army to neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh.
The design of Bogibeel Bridge has 39 spans of 125 m and a superstructure of composite welded steel truss and reinforced concrete. Also, it has become the first bridge where European codes and welding standards were followed during the construction work.
Where is Bogibeel Bridge Built?
Bogibeel Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in India and the second longest in Assam after 9.15 km long road bridge- Bhupen Hazarika Setu over the Brahmaputra river.
It is connecting the south bank of the mighty Brahmaputra River in Assam's Dibrugarh district with Silapathar in Dhemaji district, bordering Arunachal Pradesh. The opening of this bridge will cut down the train travel time from Dibrugarh to the Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar by 3 hours and help avoid around 170-km detour.
Who Constructed Bogibeel Bridge?
Hyderabad-based Hindustan Construction Company, Gammon India has constructed this bridge. The project has taken around two decades to finish and is built at an approximate cost of Rs. 5,960 crore or $830- million. According to PTI quoted senior officials, the serviceable period of this bridge is around 120 years. However, it will have a little maintenance cost, as per the engineers. The bridge is also said to be the most extended rail-and-road connector in Asia.
When Did the Construction Work Start?
The government of India agreed to the construction of the Bogibeel Bridge in the 1985 agreement to stop the vehement protest by Assamese nationalist groups. However, the construction work of Bogibeel Bridge started in the year 2002 under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government and it took almost 16 years to finish the project due to extreme rainfall in the area.
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