Why in news?
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Bogibeel bridge in Assam on the birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- The Bogibeel bridge will connect the south bank of the Brahmaputra river in Assam’s Dibrugarh to Silapathar in Dhemaji bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
- The 4.9 km-long bridge on the Brahmaputra river boasts of being Asia’s second longest rail-cum-road bridge.
- The Bogibeel bridge is constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 5,900 crore. Due to inordinate delay in its implementation, the cost of the project escalated by 85 per cent from the sanctioned estimated cost of Rs 3,230.02 crore.
- The bridge has a two-line railway track on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the top deck. For the first time for Indian Railways, the girder has A steel floor system for railway tracks and concrete for road.
- The Bogibeel bridge, which was a part of the Assam Accord and sanctioned in 1997-98, is also likely to play a crucial role in defence movement along the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh.
- The bridge will reduce travel time from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh to four hours. It will also reduce the Delhi to Dibrugarh train-travel time by about three hours to 34 hours as against 37 hours presently.
- The bridge will reduce the distance to Northeast region by 165 km, saving fuel worth Rs 10 lakh per day in the region.
- The bridge is among the infrastructure projects planned by India to improve logistics along the border in Arunachal Pradesh.
- The bridge and the train will be a boon for the people of Dhemaji as major hospitals, medical colleges and airport are in Dibrugarh, the third-largest city in the Northeast