Guwahati, May 27: The Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the river Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, is truly bridging both geographical and psychological distances between people staying in the far-flung northeast and the mainland India.
The moment the 9.15-km bridge, country's longest, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, he declared that the bridge will be officially known as the Bhupen Hazarika Setu or Bhupen Hazarika Bridge.
Hazarika, the legendary singer, musician, writer and filmmaker--is Assam and northeast India's pride. Till he was alive (Hazarika died on November 5, 2011), the musical genius had always highlighted the cultural richness and multiple issues of the region in front of the world.
He was a "bridge" who helped reducing both the physical and psychological distances with his music and songs. The legendary musician, poet and singer was born in Sadiya, near Tezpur in north Assam. Hazarika also shared great emotional attachment with the Brahmaputra as he wrote several songs and poems honouring the mighty river.
Immediately after PM Modi announced the decision to name the bridge after the bard, Assam erupted in joy. The people of Assam felt that it was a perfect honour for their Bhupen da (Bhupen, the elder brother) bestowed upon by PM Modi.
Manisa Hazarika, sister-in-law of the musical genius, told The Telegraph, "By naming the bridge after Bhupen da, history was created today. His name will stay forever in his birthplace Sadiya. He was emotionally connected with the place. Even on the first birth anniversary after his demise, we had organised a programme at Sadiya and got a good response. As family, I thank both the central and state governments for this decision."
"It is a very good step. Bhupen da deserves this honour. He had an emotional connection with Sadiya. He loved this place and tried to do something for its development. This is an award to him," said Samar Hazarika, younger brother of the bard.
General secretary of the All Assam Students' Union Lurin Jyoti Gogoi said naming this bridge after Bhupen Hazarika is one of the remarkable decisions of the Centre.
"It is an honour to the legendary singer," said Gogoi.
The bridge constructed at a cost of Rs 950 crore will connect Assam with eastern Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge will save travel of 165 km and time of six hours. The inauguration of the bridge also marked completion of three years of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
The PM said the bridge would contribute to the development of the northeastern region. "This bridge will bring about a new economic revolution," PM Modi added.