India’s longest bridge – the 9.15 km-long Dhola-Sadiya bridge – was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
The bridge on river Lohit, one of the major tributaries of river Brahmaputra, now connects Assam with Arunachal Pradesh near India-China border.
The bridge which was made at the cost of Rs 2,056 crore, will enhance connectivity and greatly reduce travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Prime Minister Modi said that the inauguration of the bridge marks the end of a long wait for the people of the area.
The Prime Minister said infrastructure is extremely important for development, and the effort of the Union government is to fulfil the dreams and wishes of the people. He said the bridge enhances connectivity between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, and opens the door for economic development, on a big scale.
He said the eastern and northeast parts of the country have the greatest potential for economic development, and this bridge is just one element of the Union government’s vision in this regard.
The prime minister said the bridge will bring about a positive change in the lives of the common people. He said the Union government is placing great emphasis on the development of waterways as well.
The prime minister said enhanced connectivity between the Northeast and other parts of the country is a priority for the Union government, and work has been greatly speeded up in this regard. He said that good connectivity in the Northeast will also link the region with the economy of Southeast Asia.
The prime minister also spoke of the immense tourism potential of the Northeast. He said the Union government has decided to name the Dhola-Sadiya bridge after the great musician, lyricist and poet, Bhupen Hazarika.
The bridge will also reduce the distance from Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka/Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh by 165 km. The travel time between the two places will come down from the current six hours to just one hour – a total five hour reduction. This will result in saving of petrol and diesel worth Rs 10 Lakh per day.
The total length of the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km. The length of the bridge itself is 9.15 km.