Assam, India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated India's longest rail-road Bogibeel Bridge, which is expected to reduce the distance between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by around 700 kilometers, and the travel time from 24 hours to merely five hours.
The foundation stone of this bridge was laid by late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002 and was inaugurated on his birth anniversary.
The overpass is a combined road and rail bridge over the River Brahmaputra - precisely between the districts of Dhemaji and Dibrugarh and is 4.94 kilometers long. The bridge is going to reduce the distance between Dibrugarh and Rangiya by 170 Kilometers.
It is believed that this route will help the people of Arunachal Pradesh by saving their time on commuting to southern Assam. The connectivity is also strategically important for the movement of troops to Arunachal Pradesh bordering China.
This project was first cleared in 1997 by the then prime minister HD Deve Gowda.
First sanctioned at a cost of Rs 3,230.02 crore, the price of the Bogibeel Bridge was later revised to Rs 4,857 crores, mainly due to cost escalation and increase in its length to nearly 5 km as against 4.31 km proposed earlier.