Bogibeel bridge
Bogibeel bridge. Image credit - Northeast Now

The Bogibeel bridge in upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district completed a year on Wednesday, a year that has helped change the lives of both locals and outsiders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India on December 25 last year.

Spanning 4.94 km, the bridge has ushered in a new economic development of the region.

The bridge has ended the long communication bottleneck in the region.

Earlier, ferry service was the only communication to connect the north bank to the south bank of river Brahmaputra but after the bridge’s opening, the traveling time has been reduced and people can easily reach both sides at anyone.

“After the opening of the Bogibeel bridge, life has become easy. Earlier, we had to cross the river Brahmaputra on ferries but now within a short span of time, we can reach our preferred locations. The bridge has changed the course of our life in terms of business,” said Ranju Pegu, a resident of Dhemaji.

Also read: Assam: Former PM H D Deva Gowda turns nostalgic visiting Bogibeel Bridge

The bridge has been set up 32 metres above the bed level of the Brahmaputra.

The double-decker bridge features two railway lines on the lower deck and a 3-lane road on the upper deck flanked by footpaths on each side.

Bogibeel bridge is India’s first and only fully welded bridge construction adhering to European codes and welding standards.

Also read: Assam: Bogibeel Bridge turns into dumping ground of plastic wastes by tourists

After the opening of the bridge, people from across the globe have come to see the bridge.

“Earlier, we had to face lots of hurdle if we had any medical emergency, but now it has become easy as, within two hours, we can reach Assam Medical College and Hospital for treatment. The bridge has ended the long struggle of our people,” said Bimal Sonowal, another resident of Dhemaji.

Not only medical service, but the bridge has also helped the students who come to Dibrugarh for educational purposes.

“Every day I come to Dibrugarh from Dhemaji for coaching classes and return back to Dhemaji. Without the Bogibeel bridge it would not be possible for me to travel and return back to my home in a day,” said Rintu Gogoi, a student.

“Today, Bogibeel bridge has completed one year and in the last one year, the living condition of the people in this region have changed as they can easily go to Dibrugarh for business purposes or to sell vegetables,” said another resident.

Situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh town, the Bogibeel bridge was the fourth bridge over the Brahmaputra connecting Dibrugarh and Dhemaji districts.

The foundation stone of the bridge was laid almost 21 years ago by former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on January 22, 1997.

On April 21, 2002, former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee inaugurated the construction work of the mega project.

Bogibeel bridge has completed one year on Thursday but on its first anniversary, only a few people were seen on the bridge due to the ongoing protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com