Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Bogibeel Bridge -- the longest rail-road bridge in the country -- on December 25, coinciding with the birth anniversary of late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a senior railway official said Wednesday.
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.
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.
The bridge, which has three-lane roads on top and two railway tracks below, is part of infrastructure projects planned to improve the logistics along the border in Arunachal Pradesh. This includes the construction of a trans-Arunachal highway on the north bank of the Brahmaputra and new road and rail links over the mighty river and its major tributaries such as the Dibang, Lohit, Subansiri and Kameng.
The bridge will reduce the 500-km distance between Dibrugarh and Arunachal Pradesh by 100 km.
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