Longest Railway Bridge In India – Inception of the bridge , Construction
The inception of the bridge, Construction – Longest Railway Bridge In India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s longest railway cum road bridge on December 25, 2018. The Bogibeel Bridge spans Lohit River, a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra River and connects the Dibrugarh District of Assam with Dhemaji District bordering Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge is 4.9 km long and consists of double line broad gauge railway tracks and three-lane roads. The Bogibeel Bridge has served to cut down the travel time drastically between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from civilian traffic, the bridge has also made the movement of troops and defence equipment swifter along the India-China border. Some of the main facts about the bridge have been mentioned here.
Inception of the bridge
The construction of Bogibeel Bridge was a part of Assam Accord signed in 1985 but the project was sanctioned in the year 1997 and the foundation stone was laid that year by the then Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. However, construction started in the year 2002 but owing to delays, the construction did not began in earnest until 2011.
Bogibeel Bridge is India’s first fully welded bridge. European welding standards and codes were adopted for the construction of the bridge. The bridge can withstand earthquakes of up to 7 magnitude on the Richter scale. The serviceable period of the bridge is about 120 years. There are 39 girders of 125 meter span and 2 girders of 33 meter span which make up the bridge. Steel Authority of India supplied more than half of the steel used in construction of the bridge. The bridge has been constructed at a cost of Rs 5900 crore. This is much more than the initial sanctioned cost of Rs 3230.02 crore. The jump in cost happened due to delays in the project.
Hindustan Construction Company, German company DSD Brouckenbau and VNR Infrastructures jointly constructed the bridge.
Bogiibeel Bridge has shortened the travel time from Dibrugarh to Itanagar in train by 705 kilometres. In case of road transport, the distance has been slashed by 150 km. Train travel from Tinsukia in Assam to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh has reduced by 10 hours due to this bridge. The bridge has also made life easier for people living on north and south banks of Brahmaputra. Defence movements right up to the border with China have also benefited due to the bridge. Fighter jets can also land on the bridge during emergency situations.