Bogibeel Bridge, the longest rail-cum road-bridge of India and constructed over Brahmaputra River in eastern Assam , can withstand earthquake up to magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale and beyond. The bridge is India’s first fully welded bridge.
The Bridge which is awaiting inauguration by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25 this year, is likely to enhance India’s capability to ensure faster movement of troops and supplies to the country’s eastern border in Arunachal Pradesh.
The then Prime Minister of India, HD Davegowda had laid the foundation stone of the bridge in 1997. The completion of the bridge was however, delayed due to many reasons including change of guards at Delhi and Dispur. In 2002, the then Prime Minister Late Atal Behari Vajpayee inaugurated the construction works of the bridge—breaking the jinx over it.
“The location of Bogibeel Bridge falls in Seismic Zone-V. In Indian history, Zone V has been most vulnerable to earthquakes with magnitudes in excess of 7.0. In order to offer good stability to the heavy spans (1700 MT), they are provided with seismic restrainers,” said RVR Kishore, project director of the Hindustan Construction Company Ltd, the company who was entrusted with the works of superstructure of the bridge for over Rs. 900 crore.
Kishore explained that the bridge is designed such a way that it has the capacity of carrying the major battle tanks of the Indian armed forces. “We have also used fully welded guarder technology and high quality copper bearing steel to increase the durability of the bridge,” Kishore said.
The 4.98 km-long bridge will connect Dibrugarh (on the South Bank) and Dhemaji (on the North bank) districts of Assam across Brahmaputra River. It will reduce the travel between Arunachal Pradesh and New Delhi by about 170 kms.
“The bridge will provide connectivity to nearly five million people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It will also give easy and direct access to the upper Assam from the rest of the country through the North bank, in contrast to the current route through Guwahati in the South bank -which is long and tortuous,”he added.