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The essential facts
The significance of the bridge is not just in the distance it covers across the Brahmaputra but also in the train travel time it reduces along the banks of the river
The Bogibeel Bridge, inside Assam, is 20 km from the border with Arunachal Pradesh. It connects Dibrugarh on the Brahmaputra’s south bank to Dhemaji on the north bank
The Bogibeel Bridge upstages the 4.62-km Vembanad Bridge between Edappally and Vallarpadam in Kochi, Kerala, as well as the 4.55-km Digha-Sonpur across Ganga in Bihar
Bogibeel bridge- India's longest rail-road bridge, some features
What it took to make India's longest rail-road bridge- Bogibeel bridge
The Bogibeel bridge, Salient facts- 2018
- The bridge has been thrown open on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee under whose government the work had started in 2002. The foundation stone of the project was laid by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda in 1997.
- The Bogibeel Bridge, which was a part of the Assam Accord and sanctioned in 1997-98, is likely to play a crucial role in defence movement along the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 5,900 crore, the bridge has a "serviceable period of around 120 years". It is situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh city in Assam, and it has been constructed for double-line broad gauge track along with three-lane roads.
- The road distance from Dibrugarh to Itanagar will be reduced by 150 km and the railway travel distance between these two points will shorten by 705 km, while this bridge will provide an alternate and shorter route from Dibrugarh through north bank of Brahmaputra to Delhi and Kolkata via Rangiya.
- Although it will ease out 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 biggest advantage of the bridge will be easy movement of troops from southern to northern bank. This means travelling to the farthest most point of India's border with China will be shortened by several hundred kilometres.
- This bridge will be the lifeline of the north eastern part of the country and will facilitate connectivity between north and south banks of river Brahmaputra in the eastern region of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Students and patients have to cross the river on boat to come to Dibrugarh, which houses the famed Dibrugarh University and Assam Medical College, besides a dozen other such centres
- The bridge will enhance the national security of the eastern region by facilitating 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.
- Bogibeel is India’s first and only fully welded bridge construction. It is also for the first time European codes and welding standards were adhered to in the construction of a bridge in India.
- Bogibeel Bridge falls in Seismic Zone-V, which is most vulnerable to earthquakes with magnitudes more than 7.0. To offer good stability, the heavy spans (1,700MT) are provided with seismic restrainers.
- Realising its strategic importance, the central government had declared the construction of the bridge as a National Project in 2007, thereby assuring availability of fund for speedy construction.
(With agency inputs)
2018/ Bogibeel Bridge: longest road-cum-rail bridge
Within the Northeast, the train journey between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh now reduces from 500 km to 100 km. For the rest of India too, Dibrugarh becomes accessible without travelling via Guwahati.
The record length is being widely reported: at 4.94 km, the Bogibeel Bridge is the country’s longest road-cum-rail bridge, and its fourth longest of any kind above water. The significance of the bridge is not just in the distance it covers across the Brahmaputra but also in the train travel time it reduces along the banks of the river.
The short journey
The Bogibeel Bridge, inside Assam, is 20 km from the border with Arunachal Pradesh. It connects Dibrugarh on the Brahmaputra’s south bank to Dhemaji on the north bank. While railway lines run along both banks, a train crossing of the Brahmaputra was possible at only two places so far. Both these rail-cum-road options — in Jogighopa in western Assam and on the outskirts of Guwahati (Saraighat bridge) — are hundreds of kilometres from the Assam-Arunachal border, and both bring trains from the north bank into Guwahati on the south. The Bogibeel Bridge provides an alternative in the east.
Within the Northeast, the train journey between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh now reduces from 500 km to 100 km, according to details released by the project developers. So far, travellers had to make the loop via Guwahati. For the rest of India too, Dibrugarh becomes accessible without travelling via Guwahati. The train journey from Delhi to Dibrugarh reduces by 3 hours (from 37 hours to 34) and the distance by 170 km.
This boosts the defence forces by facilitating quicker movement of troops and equipment to areas near the India-China border. It also benefits tourists, trade goods and those seeking medical treatment. Dibrugarh, considered a gateway to parts of Arunachal Pradesh, is home to Assam Medical College. For patients on the north bank, the only crossing into Dibrugarh so far was by ferry. That could take up to a couple of hours; a train can cross the new bridge in 5 minutes.
The long journey
“The Bogibeel Bridge’s biggest benefit is saving travel time by trains and vehicles in the region and providing better connectivity,” R V R Kishore, Project Director, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), told The Indian Express. HCC, along with Germany-based DSD Brouckenbau and VNR Infrastructures, holds the contract for building the superstructure of the bridge.
The bridge has been three decades in the making. The proposal dates back to the Assam Accord of 1985. It was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in 1997, the foundation stone was laid that year by then Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, and construction was inaugurated in 2002 by then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Work on the substructure began in 2008; the superstructure contract was awarded to HCC along with DSD and VNR in 2011. A spokesperson for Northeast Frontier Railway said the estimated sanctioned cost of the project is Rs 5,920 crore.
Length vs length
As a railway bridge, the Bogibeel Bridge upstages the 4.62-km Vembanad Bridge between Edappally and Vallarpadam in Kochi, Kerala, as well as the 4.55-km Digha-Sonpur across Ganga in Bihar. The former is a rail bridge across the Vembanad Lake; the latter is rail-cum-road like the Bogibeel Bridge.
In a comparison of all bridges across water, the Bogibeel comes in at fourth, after the neighbouring Dhola-Sadiya road bridge (9.15 km), the Patna-Hajipur road bridge (5.75 km), and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (5.6 km).
Significance of the bridge
National security, travel and access to facilities: Here's why the Bogibeel Bridge in Assam, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated on December 25, 2018, is a game-changer.
Assam's Bogibeel Bridge, a 4.94-km-long behemoth straddling the Brahmaputra, is a "lifeline" for the state's denizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after inaugurating it on December 25.
India's second-longest rail-road bridge will cut travel time, remove communication bottlenecks to a number of districts in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, and is likely to play an important role in defence movement along the Indo-China border -- also in Arunachal Pradesh.
Here's a cheat-sheet on what makes the Bogibeel Bridge, which connects Dibrugarh and Dhemaji districts, so special.
1. National security
The Bogibeel Bridge will help defence forces and their equipment move quickly, said one source, who explained that it was built in a way that "even a fighter jet can land on it in case of emergency". Earlier, a senior army official said travelling to the farthest point of the India-China border would be shortened "by several hundred kilometres". The bridge will provide logistical support fro the Indian Army manning the border, said Pranav Jyoti Sharma, chief public relations officer for the Northeast Frontier Railway.
2. Travel and access to facilities
Train trips from Tinsukia in Assam to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh just got a whole lot quicker. By ten hours, to be precise. Pranav Jyoti Sharma said the rail travel distance between Dibrugarh and Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, would be reduced by 705 km. Taking your car instead? Your Dibrugarh-Itanagar road trip is now 150 km shorter.
The bridge will reduce the train travel time between Delhi and Dibrugarh by about three hours. The Bogibeel Bridge's opening is great news if you're from Dhemaji -- for Dibrugarh, the third-largest city in the Northeast, has major hospitals, medical colleges and an airport.
3. The big picture
The Bogibeel Bridge is part of infrastructure projects planned to improve logistics along the border in Arunachal Pradesh. This includes the construction of a trans-Arunachal highway on the Brahmaputra's north bank, and new road and rail links over the river and its major tributaries.
Built at an estimated cost of over Rs 5,000 crore, the 4.94-km-long double-decker bridge is expected to significantly enhance India's defence capability by ensuring faster movement of troops and supplies to Arunachal Pradesh, which borders China.
"The bridge will enhance the national security of the eastern region by facilitating 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 source said.
A senior Army official had said the biggest advantage of the bridge will be easy movement of troops from southern to northern bank.
"This means travelling to the farthest point of India's border with China will be shortened by several hundred kilometers," he had said.
Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) chief public relations officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma added that the bridge will provide logistical support for the Indian Army manning the border.
China has been laying new roads and improving its overall infrastructure along the nearly 4,000 km long border with India.
The massive infrastructure development by the neighbouring country has prompted India to ramp up infrastructure on its side.