Asia's Longest Bridge Over Brahmaputra Will be Operational by mid- 2017
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Asia's longest bridge also famously known as Dhola-Sadiya Bridge connecting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to be ready by mid-2017. The bridge, which began construction in 2010 had its own set of trials and tribulations and is in the final leg before being open to public.
Built at a cost of Rs 938-crore, the two-lane project upon completion will be 3.55 Kms longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai and will stretch to 9.15 Kms between Dhola and Sadiya. The bridge is expected to reduce the travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh significantly. Lying near International border of China connectivity is extremely crucial as the state of Arunachal Pradesh does not have any Airport baring a Heliport at Itanagar. Once commissioned it will take just over 30 minutes to cross Sadiya and the travel time will be cut by 4 hours. Passage has been duly for easy movement of army tanks and will be crucial for defense purposes.
The completion work is underway and CM Sonowal having taken stock of it has expressed hope that the bridge can be commissioned by April 2017. The road ministry has approved compensation to property owners to get the required land for building the 2-kilometre approach road on Sadiya side for the project. "We will complete work in the next seven to eight months," said an official. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone through the visual presentation of this project when he participated in the North Eastern Council meeting in Shillong early this year. Construction of this bridge in Assam was approved as a part of Rs 24,000 crore Arunachal Pradesh package to improve road connectivity in the border state.
The construction began under the aegis of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in public private partnership (PPP) with Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd. However, the project saw abysmal delay in completion owing to the frequent changes in the course of the river. The mighty Brahmaputra keeps altering its course, spanning from 0.5 km in winters to 12 km during monsoons when it floods. There are two cranes which are yet to be recovered from the river bed. Floodwaters damaged equipment, materials and several roads leading to the site, besides forcing evacuation of workers in the year 2012. Due to floods, the level of approach roads post development had to be raised. Flood banks have been provided on both sides of the river to a few Kms into the land side.
Though the construction work has been extended beyond 6 years, once completed it would drastically improve the road connectivity to the border state of Arunachal Pradesh that shares 3488-km border with China, which has vastly improved roads and is building or extending air strips on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).