Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya bridge, which has also been dubbed as a ‘New Hope’ for the nations. The 9.15-km Dhola-Sadiya Bridge is India’s longest bridge connecting Dhola on Brahmaputra’s south bank to Sadiya on the north in Assam. To be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, this bridge on Lohit, a tributary of Brahmaputra, is set to start a major transformation in road connectivity in India’s North-East.
The Dhola-Sadiya Bridge will fill a huge connectivity gap existing in the region. Until now, the only means to cross the Brahmaputra at this location has been ferry in day-time, which cannot be used during the floods.
According to a release by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, the last bridge to be built over the Brahmaputra was Kalia Bhomora Bridge at Tejpur, Assam. Other two bridges on the Brahmaputra are Saraighat, and Bogibeel (nearing completion).
With Dhola-Sadiya bridge, people will get 24X7 connectivity between upper Assam and Eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh. The 9.15 km also covers 4.25 km between riverbanks and 28.5 km of approach roads.
The Dhola-Sadiya bridge will reduce the distance from Rupai on NH-37 in Assam to Meka/Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh by 165 KM. According to the release, the travel time between the two places will come down from the current 6 hours to just one hour and it has been estimated that petrol and diesel worth Rs 10 Lakh per day would be saved.
The bridge would also help change livelihood of people of the region by speeding up the movement of goods and services. It will provide connectivity to remote and backward areas of North-East which have poor road infrastructure, boosting overall economic development of the areas north of Brahmaputra in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The new bridge would also speed up Army movement. According to an IE report, at present Army convoys in Assam have to spend hours crossing the river by boat from Dhola to Sadia, or take a 10-hour, 250 km road trip from Dinjan division HQ near Tinsukia, to Tezu in Arunachal, before moving towards the border.
The Bridge would also cater to the strategic requirements of the country in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, facilitating several hydro-power projects coming up in the state.