India’s longest river bridge will be built across the Brahmaputra, connecting Dhubri in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya, and will cut road travel by 203 km as also travel time. The 19.3 km, four-lane bridge will be built by 2026-27, Government officials said.
A report published in the The Times of India stated that considering how critical the bridge construction will be, the Government’s highway construction wing, the National Highways and Industrial Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), recently reached out to global players in France. 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.
The report further stated that currently, small boats run between Dhubri and Phulbari. It takes about two and a half hours to cross the river. Currently, the longest river bridge in India, at 9.15 km, is the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge which was opened last year. It will hardly take 15-20 minutes to cross the river after the bridge becomes operational. It will push economic activities and development on both sides of the river,” said a Road Transport Ministry official. “We will be floating tenders for the project and target to award the work during this financial year. It will be a public-funded work. The construction of any bridge across the Brahmaputra takes time since construction work can be carried out only for six months in a year,” an NHIDCL official said.
The Japanese funding agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has approved a loan for this project as a part of a road infrastructure improvement package in the North East after assessing the economic benefit of the big project. Senior Government officials said the bridge will also improve connectivity from West Bengal to Assam.