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Monday, June 5, 2017

Dhola Sadiya Bridge (Bhupen Hazarika Setu) is longest bridge of the Nation

Bhupen Hazarika popularly Sudhakantha acclaimed poet mainly in the Assamese language was popular all over India, loved by  the people of Assam,  West Bengal and Bangladesh. He is also acknowledged to have introduced the culture and folk music of Assam and Northeast India to Hindi cinema at the national level.  The Brahmaputra is a trans-boundary river flowing  through China, India and Bangladesh.

India has inaugurated a 9.15km (5.68-mile) bridge over the Lohit river, easily its longest ever, which connects the state of Arunachal Pradesh with the north-eastern state of Assam. "It was real tough work, a major engineering challenge, and the speed was slightly affected by some compensation issues," said an official from Navayuga Engineering, the company which constructed the bridge. Apart from the bridge, India is constructing a two-lane trans-Arunachal highway, upgrading a World War Two vintage road and undertaking a further four projects to widen roads.

The obvious advantage is  bridge will  reduce travel time by as much as eight hours for communities on either side of the river hour as the distance will shrink by 165 km.   It was a moment of pride for the Nation when our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji  on Friday inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge in Assam, which is India's longest river bridge.  Spanning 9.15 km, the bridge is built across the Lohit river, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra, connects  Assam and eastern Arunachal Pradesh. The total length of the project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km.  The bridge is located 540 km from Assam’s capital Dispur and 300 km from Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar. It connects Sadia town in Assam’s Tinsukia district with Dhola village, also in Assam.

It is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai. The sea link has now become the second longest river bridge in the country.   A sum of  Rs 2,056 crore has been spent on the bridge that can withstand 60 tonnes of weight, including battle tanks.  The bridge, which has a three-lane carriage way, 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 Dhola Sadiya bridge is named as ‘Bhupen Hazarika Setu’ after the Assamese poet and became  operational on 26 May 2017. Given the fact that the North East is prone to high seismic activity, the bridge has been provided seismic buffers in all its 182 piers.

"It was unimaginable that this crossing could be bridged at a point where six rivers meet, all flowing into the mighty Brahmaputra," Gunjan Saharia, a resident, told the BBC.  Would people still love crossing river by dangerous country boats ~ yet the caption of one leading English daily was different.  Rather than highlighting the engineering marvel and its usefulness to the Region, the paper wrote that a couple of hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked down a small stretch of the 9.15-km-long bridge to open it for millions of people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, it was the final moment for about 150 boatmen to lay anchor forever as there would be no one to take a boat ride to cross the mighty Brahmaputra from now on. It also meant an abrupt end to the livelihood of these men and their support staff of an estimated 2,000 people. The media and menial mentality !! or simply Modi hatred !

With Regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th May 2017

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