Ahead of the Assam Assembly election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Dhubri-Phulbari bridge over the Brahmaputra, which will be India’s longest road bridge, through video conference on February 18.

This has been considered to be a poll gimmick as Assam is gearing up for the Assembly election.

The length of the river bridge will be about 18 km.

The Dhubri-Phulbari bridge will link Dhubri, the district town in Assam located at the north bank of river Brahmaputra, with Phulbari, a small township, partly in Assam (South Salmara Mankachar district) and mostly in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya.

It is expected that the bridge, to be located 11 km away from the international border with Bangladesh, will cut a travel time from over four to five hours of tough and pathetic journey on boats to just an hour.

The river bridge will be constructed on National Highway 127 B.

Currently, small boats and ferries are being used to transport people over the Brahmaputra.

NH 127B is a national Highway stretching about 371 km starting from Srirampur in Assam and terminating at Nongstoin in Meghalaya.

The section crossing river Brahmaputra is a missing link of the route.

Vehicles from Dhubri in Assam to Tura in Meghalaya are forced to debtor along the river to cross at the Narnarayan bridge in Goalpara district of Assam, which is located about 60 km upstream, consequently increasing the trip by about 150 km.

The four-lane bridge is estimated to cost over Rs 4,000 crore and is targeted to be completed by 2026-27.

The Japanese funding agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has approved a loan for the construction of this much-awaited bridge while the National Highways and Industrial Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) is looking after the entire work.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (L&T) emerged as the lowest bidder (L1) at Rs 3,166 crore to construct the 4-lane bridge across the Brahmaputra, the country’s longest road bridge to be built over the river.

Mukesh Kr Singh

Mukesh Kr Singh is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dhubri. He can be reached at: mkdhubri@gmail.com