EXPLAINED NATIONAL

Bogibeel Bridge and the New Era of North-East Connectivity

Bogibeel bridge

It is becoming more and more evident that the Modi Government at the Centre has been putting in all its effort to pull India away from the infrastructure slumber that a decade-long UPA Government had forced our country into. Be it Bharatmala in highways, Sagarmala and creation of Inland Waterways in water transport or laying of a new Railways line, the development of infrastructure have been put on a revolutionary pace by the Modi Government. Many projects were proposed by the previous governments but could not see the light of the day and many of them did not see much progress, often resulting in exponential cost escalation. These projects are now being taken up and seeing the stage of completion.

India’s longest road-cum-rail bridge which is all set to become operational serves as a true example of this trend. As the Minister of Railways, Piyush Goel has tweeted to inform that the 1st freight train ran on the Bogibeel Bridge on a stretch of 4.94 kilometres, connecting Assam with Arunachal Pradesh.

Bogibeel Bridge - Some Facts
  • It is a 4.94 km bridge over Brahmaputra River.
  • Bogibeel Bridge was initiated in the year 2002.
  • Though there were many instances of allocations, such as this, for the project under UPA’s 10 years rule, the work never saw the pace.
  • NDA Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has increased the speed of the project with necessary resource allocation and the Bogibeel Bridge has passed the necessary tests and now awaits inauguration.

In the below map, out of the three major connectivity initiatives over the river Brahmaputra, two are materialised under the Modi government.

Note: Map for representation, not according to scale

Bogibeel Bridge & Commitment of North-East Connectivity

Completion of Bogibeel Bridge, which connects the north-eastern states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, is not an one-off example. Below we present to you the grand picture of infrastructure development in the north-eastern region put together by the Modi Government.

  • PM Modi inaugurated India’s longest river bridge, spanning 9.15 km over Brahmaputra River, on 26th May The bridge ensures 24×7 connectivity between the upper part of Assam and the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh. This was also one of the long-pending projects.
  • In September 2018, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a 102 km long Jowai-Ratacherra section of NH-06 in the state of Meghalaya.
  • Sikkim got its first-ever airport in September 2018 under the Modi Government. UDAN flights reaching the airport have connected Sikkim to the rest of the country.
  • Under Bharatmala Pariyojana, the road stretches aggregating to about 5,301 km in the north-eastern region have been approved for improvement. Out of this, 3,246 km road length has been approved to be developed as the Economic Corridor of the north-east.
  • Conversion of the entire 900 km stretch of the meter-gauge section in the north-eastern region took place under the Modi Government.
  • A slew of railway projects are in progress, including 20 major railway projects consisting of 12 new lines and 4 railways lines are under the doubling process, with an aggregate length of 1,664 km at a cost of Rs 43,771 crore.
  • As many as 92 air routes connecting the state capitals in the north-eastern region are being planned as part of the Centre’s UDAN scheme. A total of 19 new airports or under-served airports (being upgraded) and 17 new heliports are in the pipeline.
  • 19 new waterways (11 in Assam, 5 in Meghalaya, 1 each in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram & Nagaland) will be developed and are declared as National Waterways.

Source 1

Source 2

Conclusion

Connectivity to the north-eastern states has been neglected since a very long time. The Modi Government has not only put these states on the connectivity map but has also made them the part of ‘Act East’ policy measures. In this background, Bogibeel Bridge is one among the many recent examples of development in the north-eastern region. Moreover, the policy prominence of north-east is signaling that more and more transformation is going to take place in the future.