Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s Bogibeel Bridge in Assam on Tuesday. The day also marked the 95th birth anniversary of former Indian PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi opened India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge in Assam on the occasion of former Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 95th birth anniversary. The 4.94 km bridge makes rail and road travel to and from the Northeastern state much easier, especially improving connectivity with Northeastern-most state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is also expected to enhance security against China in the north.
The construction of the bridge, however, was first mentioned in the Assam Accords of 1985, keeping in mind the movement of Indian troops in a strategically sensitive region. Sanctioned in 1998, work on the bridge was initiated under former Indian PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee in April, 2002.
On the former Prime Minister’s 95th birthday, India PM Narendra Modi affirmed, “There can’t be a better tribute to Atal-ji on his birthday”. At the inauguration, Prime Minister Modi further added that the Bogibeel Bridge should have been constructed a long time ago, asserting, “A generation has changed, you have waited for long”.
The bridge connects the city of Dibrugarh in Assam to the state’s remote district bordering Arunachal Pradesh, Dhemaji.
After flagging off the first passenger train on the tracks of Bogibeel, PM Narendra Modi addressed the citizens, “You are witness to the fact that till 2014 less than 50% work was completed and only few pillars were seen. There is no doubt that had Atal Ji’s government got another term, this bridge would have been inaugurated in 2007-08.”
The Indian Prime Minister also highlighted the mechanical expertise behind the bridge. The structure would facilitate people living in the north of the Brahmaputra by providing access to the city of Dibrugarh. The PM said, the city “is an important centre of healthcare, education, and commerce in the region”.
Member of the National Security Advisory Board and an expert on China, retired Lieutenant General SL Narasimhan highlighted the strategic importance of the newly opened bridge. The China expert asserted, “Now there is redundancy in trans-Brahmaputra movement with the availability of three bridges – Bogibeel, Sadiya and the one near Tezpur. The push for infrastructure development along the border coupled with the building of roads and bridges in the hinterland are positive developments”
While the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister expressed his gratitude at the inauguration ceremony, former Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi stated that the bridge would “help in trade, commerce and defence.”