Bogibeel, India's longest railroad bridge ready after 21 years: All you need to know
Guwahati, Dec 24: Bogibeel, India's longest rail-cum-road bridge will be opened to traffic by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, coinciding with the birth anniversary of late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Built by the Indian Railways, the double-decker bridge has two railway lines on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the upper, strong enough to withstand movement of heavy military tanks. The work of the bridge is finally complete after 16 years.
The prime minister will inaugurate the bridge on December 25, which is also observed as the Good Governance Day by the government. He will also flag off Tinsukia-Naharlagun Intercity Express, which will run five days a week.
While the then prime minister, H D Deve Gowda, had laid the foundation stone for the bridge in January 1997, the work had started only in April 2002, after Vajpayee laid the foundation stone for the project, along with the then railway minister, Nitish Kumar.
The first freight train passed through the bridge on December 3 after several deadlines for the completion of the project were missed in the past 16 years.
Here is all you need to know about the Bogibeel bridge
The 4.94-km Bogibeel Bridge is the country's longest rail-road bridge, connecting the south bank of the Brahmaputra river in Dibrugarh district of Assam with Silapathar in Dhemaji district, bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
Bogibeel bridge is located around 17-kilometres away (downstream) of Assam's Dibrugarh area. As stated above, the foundation stone for the Bogibeel bridge was laid on 2022 and in 2007, the UPA government had accorded it the status of a National Project. The Modi government had asked for expediting work on the bridge which had already missed several deadlines.
The bridge is 32 metres above the Brahmaputra and is a major boost to the defence logistics along the border in Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge will also cut down the travel time between Tinsukia in Assam to Naharlagun town of Arunachal Pradesh by more than 10 hours.
As mentioned above, Bogibeel is a rail-cum road bridge and will connect two existing railway networks that run at the North and South banks of river Brahmaputra. At the South bank of the river, the railway link starts from Chalkhowa and Moranhat stations and joins in between the Sisibargaon and Siripani stations of Rangiya-Murkongselek section at North Bank through the Bogibeel bridge.
The bridge reduces travel time from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh to four hours and will cut out the detour of over 170 km via Tinsukia. It will also reduce Delhi to Dibrugarh train-travel time by about three hours to 34 hours as against 37 hours presently.
After December 25, people, especially patients from Assam Medical College located here, can travel straight from Dibrugarh from the other side of the river instead of using the ferries.
The Bogibeel bridge project was initially sanctioned at a cost of Rs 3230.02 crore, but the final cost was revised to Rs 4857 crore keeping in mind cost escalation and increase in the length of the bridge to 4.94 km as against 4.31 km proposed earlier.
Bogibeel bridge is the second longest in Asia and has been built 32 metres above the Brahmaputra river water level. The design of the bridge is similar to that of a bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden.