The road connectivity in the North-East will witness a major transformation as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to inaugurate on Friday the country's longest Dhola-Sadiya Bridge in Assam. This bridge will reduce the travel time between Rupai, Assam to Meka/Roing, Arunachal Pradesh by around five hours. This new, three lane, 9.15 kilometre bridge has been built at a cost of about Rs 2,056 crore over river Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, linking Dhola in Assam to Sadiya in Arunachal Pradesh. "The bridge will fill a huge connectivity gap that has existed in the region. Till now, the only means to cross the Brahmaputra at this location has been by ferry only in day- time and even this was not possible during floods," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement. The last bridge over the Brahmaputra was the Kalia Bhomora Bridge at Tejpur. "This will, however, change from tomorrow with the Dhola- Sadiya bridge ensuring 24X7 connectivity between upper Assam and eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh," the statement said. The 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.
This will result in saving of petrol and diesel worth Rs 10 lakh per day, the statement said. The Dhola-Sadiya bridge promises to usher in prosperity in the North-East, it said adding, it will provide efficient road connectivity to remote and backward areas 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. The government said it will also 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 (build, operate, transfer) annuity basis at a total cost of Rs 2,056 crore, as part of the Arunachal Package of Roads and Highways under the Ministry's Special Accelerated Road Develoopment Programme for North East (SARDP-NE). The objective was to bring the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh closer to each other, the statement said.