Will the Bogibeel Bridge Delay Cost Assam Congress Its Voters?
At 4.94km, the Bogibeel Bridge on the Brahmaputra river in Assam is India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge. It will connect Dhemaji in Brahmaputra’s northern bank to Dibrugarh on the southern bank. Currently, this 60km journey takes about 5 hours, involving travelling by road & then crossing the Brahmaputra on a ferry.
Strategically Bogibeel bridge is important for the movement of Indian troops to Arunachal Pradesh and borders with China. This bridge was one of the infrastructural projects to be set up as part of the Assam Accord signed in 1985 between the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Central government.
Twelve years later, in 1997, the then prime minister HD Deve Gowda sanctioned the project and in 2002 Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee laid the foundation stone. The construction was to be completed by 2009. But as that didn’t happen, the revised target is 2017.
Many factors have contributed to the slow pace of construction – delayed allocation of funds, unavailability of raw materials & tough weather conditions during the monsoons.
The voters, particularly those on the north bank of Brahmaputra are unhappy that in spite of having a Congress government in the centre and the state for 10 years, the bridge couldn’t be completed.