Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated India’s longest river bridge – the Dhola-Sadia Bridge in Assam. He has also renamed the bridge as Bhupen Hazarika Bridge. The construction of the bridge began in 2011. The cost of the project is about Rs 2056 crores.
Dhola-Sadia Bridge is a three lane bridge stretching 9.15 kilometre built over river Lohit, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra river. The bridge was built by Navayuga Engineering Co. Ltd. The Dhola-Sadiya bridge is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra–Worli Sea Link in Mumbai which is the longest bridge in the country as of now.
The bridge will connect Sadia, which is 540 Km from Guwahati and Dhola, situated 300 Km from Itanagar. The bridge has been designed to withstand the weight of 60-tonne battle tanks. This will be the only bridge in the region that will be strong enough to withstand the travel of tanks to Tinsukia, a place from where Indian troops usually enter Arunachal.
Road connectivity between Dhola to Sadia will boost overall economic development of the areas north of Brahmaputra in upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge fills a huge connectivity gap that existed in the north east region. Till now, the only means existed to cross this location was a ferry travel which was not possible during floods. The construction of the bridge will reduce the distance from Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka-Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh by 165 Km. This reduction in travel time is expected to result in saving of petrol and diesel worth 10 lakh rupees per day. Travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will also get reduced by up to four hours.
The bridge will cater to the strategic requirements in border areas and will facilitate troop mobilization much more quickly in Arunachal Pradesh, the state which is claimed in its entirety by China.