With the NDA government completing three years in power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated Dhola-Sadiya bridge, the country’s longest bridge, among a slew of projects aimed at the development of the North East region. Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was present during the inauguration following which the Prime Minister’s convoy crossed the bridge.
Referring to the Dhola-Sadiya bridge, PM Modi had earlier said, “This is one of the most important infrastructure projects in our nation.” Estimated to have cost around 10,000 crore, the 9.15-km-long bridge will shave off the travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh from six hours to just one hour, reducing the distance by 165 kms.
At 9.15 km, the bridge is longer than the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (5.6 km) by nearly two-thirds. The fourth bridge on the Brahmaputra, the most significant beneficiary will be the Army, whose convoys will now save an estimated three to four hours in their journey from Assam to their posts at Kibithoo, Wallong and Chaglagam on the Arunachal-China border.
The Northeast being a high seismic region, the bridge was built using state-of-the-art equipment, including imported hydraulic rigs, and provided seismic buffers in all its 182 piers, said B Surya Raju, chief manager (projects) with Navayuga Engineering Co Ltd, a Bengaluru-based company that specialises in various kinds of structures including bridges and jetties. In August 2003, the road transport and highways ministry cleared a feasibility study. Construction began in 2011 and the original target date for completion was December 2015.
During his visit, the Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone for two key projects – AIIMS and Indian Agriculture Research Institute. “Both projects will quicken the development of Assam & the Northeast,” he had tweeted. He will also address a rally in Guwahati following the events.
PM Modi also congratulated Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonwal and his government for completing one year in office.“Congrats to @BJP4Assam Government under @sarbanandsonwal for completing a year in office & undertaking remarkable development initiatives,” he said, adding that the BJP is committed to serving the region and enhancing its progress.