Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the country's longest river bridge – the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge in Assam, heralding a major transformation in road connectivity in the North East.
This new, three-lane, 9.15 km bridge, built over river Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, linking Dhola to Sadiya in Assam, will fill a huge connectivity gap that has existed in the region.
Till now, the only means to cross the Brahmaputra at this location was by ferry that too only in day-time and even this was not possible during floods.
The last bridge over the Brahmaputra was the Kalia Bhomora Bridge at Tejpur. This has now changed with the Dhola-Sadiya bridge ensuring 24X7 connectivity between upper Assam and Eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh.
The new 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 Rs10 lakh per day.
The Dhola-Sadiya bridge will provide efficient road connectivity to remote and backward areas in the North East which have poor road infrastructure. This bridge will also give a major boost to overall economic development of the areas north of Brahmaputra in upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Besides, the bridge will cater to the strategic requirements of the country in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, besides facilitating numerous hydro power projects coming up in the state, as it is the most sought after route for various power project developers.
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. It has been constructed on BOT Annuity basis at a total cost of Rs2,056 crore, as part of the Arunachal Package of Roads and Highways under the ministry's `Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East (SARDP-NE)'. The objective is to bring the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh closer to each other.
The prime minister will also lay the foundation stone for two key development projects – AIIMS, Guwahati and IARI, Gogamukh. In the evening, the prime minister will address a public meeting at Khanapara.