Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Bogibeel Bridge on December 25, 2018, as a tribute to the nation.

India’s longest rail-road bridge costs Rs 4,857 crore, connecting the north and south banks of Brahmaputra river, falling in the eastern part of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

The ceremony to mark the opening of the bridge coincides with the 94th birth anniversary of the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away in August last year.

The construction of the rail-cum-road bridge concluded after 21 years of initiation. The 4.94-km-long behemoth is a “lifeline” for the state’s denizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. The escalation was attributed to an increase in its length to almost 5 kilometres against the initial 4.94 km proposed. It includes the main bridge, dykes on the north and south banks, road network of 30 kilometres, rail network of 74 kilometres and six new railway stations.

India’s second-longest rail-road bridge will cut travel time, remove communication bottlenecks to a number of districts in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, and is likely to play an important role in defence movement along the Indo-China border; also in Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge which is being expected to be a game changer will reduce the train travel time between Delhi and Dibrugarh by about three hours.

The opening of the bridge is a development favourable for people that are from Dhemaji — for Dibrugarh, the third-largest city in the Northeast. The city has major hospitals, medical colleges and an airport, so commuting is likely to become easier as compared to what it is currently.

The inauguration comes a year after Modi inaugurated the country’s longest bridge, the Dhola-Sadiya, over the Lohit river in 2017.

Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda had laid the foundation stone for the Bogibeel Bridge in January 1997, but work on the project began only in April 2002 when former prime Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurated the construction. Originally scheduled to be inaugurated in 2009, the project had missed several deadlines over the years.

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