After reaching Dibrugarh in the afternoon from New Delhi, Modi directly flew to Bogibeel in a chopper and inaugurated the 4.94-km-long double-decker bridge from the southern bank of the river.Modi along with Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also walked a few metres on the bridge.
The 4.9 km-long Bogibeel Bridge on the Bramhaputra river is India's only fully welded bridge for which European codes and welding standards were adhered to for the first time in the country, said Chief Engineer Mohinder Singh. It has a serviceable period of around 120 years.
2. Although it will ease the inconvenience caused to people living on the northern side of Brahmaputra to a great extent, officials said the defence requirement played an important role while sanctioning the structure and its design.
"The bridge will enhance the national security of the eastern region by facilitating the swift movement of defence forces and their equipment. It was constructed in such a way that even a fighter jet can land on it in case of emergency," a defence source said.
Moreover, because of the technology used, the Air Force will have three landing strips.
The biggest advantage of the bridge will be the easy movement of troops from the southern to the northern bank. This means travelling to the farthest point of India's border with China will be shortened by several hundred kilometres.
4. Three million bags of cement, 19,250 mt reinforcement steel and 2,800 mt structural steel were used for the construction of the mammoth structure. For the superstructure of the main bridge, 77,000 mt of steel fabrication was required.
5. It takes anything from 45 minutes to two hours to cross the river on boats. But once the bridge is open, it will take just 10 minutes, saving not just time, but also money.
6. The bridge, with a two-line railway track on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the top deck, will provide the much-needed connectivity between Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh. It will also reduce Delhi to Dibrugarh train travel time by about three hours to 34 hours as against 37 hours presently.
7. The bridge is located just over 20 km away from the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and therefore, is expected to act as an alternative to the Kolia Bhomora Setu in Tezpur, in providing connectivity to around five million people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
8. Bogibeel Bridge falls in Seismic Zone-V. This zone has been the most vulnerable to earthquakes with magnitudes in excess of 7 on the Richter scale. To offer good stability to the heavy spans (1700 MT), they are provided with seismic restrainers
9. It took 21 years to construct the bridge.
10. The NF Railway has decided to run four special trains to and from Tangani to help people attend the inaugural function of the Bogibeel bridge on December 25.