Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that his government was correcting the “historical mistake” of neglecting Assam and the state’s development is its priority. Modi said BJP’s double engine governments at the Centre and in Assam were reducing geographical and cultural distances between the state and rest of the country.
“Prior to Independence, Assam enjoyed a high per capita income but since 1947, its development was neglected. Correcting the historical mistake of neglecting Assam had begun with former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, and now it has gained strength with the BJP government taking its development as a priority,” the prime minister said.
PM in Assam project-launching spree
It was an occasion in Assam as big as the inauguration of the country’s longest rail-cum-road bridge over Brahmaputra river at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh in 2018 by the prime minister. Launching projects key to improving connectivity in northeast India, Prime Minister Modi today said that the “double-engine” government at the Centre and in Assam has reduced the geographical and cultural gap in the entire region.
Prime Minister Modi, through video conferencing, laid the foundation stone of India’s longest bridge which will connect Dhubri in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya. The 19 km bridge will be India’s longest and will play a crucial role in connecting the two northeastern states.
Launching the bridge, Prime Minister Modi said this will be a life-changing setu for the people in the region.
The prime minister launched the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra programme and participated in the bhumi pujan for the two-lane Majuli bridge which will connect Majuli to Jorhat in Assam, through video conferencing.
“The work needed to be done on the Brahmaputra stalled for decades and connectivity in Assam and the entire northeast region remained a major challenge,” said the prime minister.
“With the coming of Mahabahu Brahmaputra, work is now being done at a fast pace,” said the prime minister.
Foundation stone to be laid for Dhubri-Phulbari bridge
- The four-lane bridge will run over the Brahmaputra river between Dhubri (on North Bank) and Phulbari (on South Bank).
- The proposed bridge will be located on NH-127B, originating from Srirampur on NH-27 (East-West Corridor), and terminating at Nongstoin on NH-106 in the State of Meghalaya.
- It will connect Dhubri in Assam to Phulbari, Tura, Rongram and Rongjeng in Meghalaya.
- The bridge will be built at a total cost of approximately 4,997 crore.
- The need for this bridge was felt in April 2012, when a boat carrying 305 passengers had capsized on the Brahmaputra.
- At present, vehicles take an over-200 km-long detour using the Naranarayan bridge, which is 60 km upstream. The new bridge will complete the missing link of NH127B from Assam to Meghalaya.
- Currently, small boats run between Dhubri and Phulbari. It takes about two and a half hours to cross the river.
- The Dhubri-Phulbari bridge will reduce the distance of 205 km to 19 km, which is the total length of the bridge.
- Once the Dhubri-Phulbari bridge becomes operational, it will hardly take 15-20 minutes to cross the river, as per government officials.
- The current longest river bridge in India, at 9.15 km, is the Dhola-Sadiya bridge which was opened in 2017.
Bhoomi pujan of Majuli bridge
- In addition to the Dhubri-Phulbari bridge, the prime minister launched another two-lane bridge on the Brahmaputra river between Majuli (North Bank) and Jorhat (South Bank) in Assam.
- The Majuli bridge will be located on NH-715K and will connect Neematighat (on Jorhat side) and Kamalabari (on Majuli side).
- The bridge has been a longstanding demand of Majuli who for decades have depended on ferry services for connectivity with mainland Assam.
Mahabahu-Brahmaputra to be launched
- Prime Minister Modi launched the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra which will be marked by the inauguration of the Ro-Pax vessel operations between Neamati-Majuli Island, North Guwahati-South Guwahati and Dhubri-Hatsingimari.
- The prime minister will do the shilanyas of Inland Water Transport (IWT) Terminal at Jogighopa and various tourist jetties on River Brahmaputra and launch digital solutions for the ease of doing business.
- The program is aimed at providing seamless connectivity to the Eastern parts of India and includes various development activities for the people living around River Brahmaputra and River Barak.