Former PM HD Deve Gowda disappointed over being ignored for Bogibeel bridge inauguration, says he laid foundation stone

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New Delhi | Published: December 26, 2018 12:33:49 PM

"Railway line to Kashmir, Delhi Metro and Bogibeel railroad bridge were among the projects I had sanctioned (as prime minister). I had sanctioned budget of Rs 100 crore for each of these projects and laid their foundation stone. Today people have forgotten everything," JD(S) supremo said.

The 4.9 km long combined rail and road bridge was inaugurated by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday. (File photo of HD Deve Gowda)

Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has expressed disappointment that he was not invited for the inauguration of the country’s longest railroad bridge in Assam though it was he who had laid its foundation stone. Gowda said that as PM, he sanctioned several projects like Kashmir rail line, Delhi Metro and this Bogibeel bridge and even sanctioned budget of Rs 100 crore for each of these projects.

“Railway line to Kashmir, Delhi Metro and Bogibeel railroad bridge were among the projects I had sanctioned (as prime minister). I had sanctioned budget of Rs 100 crore for each of these projects and laid their foundation stone. Today people have forgotten everything,” JD(S) supremo said.

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“Aiyo Rama! Who will remember me? Some newspapers might have mentioned about it, added on the enormous delay in completing the project, Gowda said, “that is where I differ. I completed the Hassan-Mysuru project in 13 months. I completed two bridges on time. Anagwadi bridge (across Ghataprabha). Go and see the bridge on Krishna river.

Meanwhile, the foundation stone of the project was laid by former prime minister Gowda on January 22, 1997, while work commenced on April 21, 2002, under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government. In 2007, the UPA government had declared it a national project.

The 4.9 km long combined rail and road bridge was inaugurated by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday. The multi-crore infrastructure project spans over the majestic Brahmaputra river and is situated 17 kilometres downstream of Dhemaji and Dibrugarh districts of Assam. It will connect Dibrugarh to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh. The total cost of the project is around Rs 5,920 crore; in which the bridge itself has a cost of around Rs 3000 crore. Delhi to Dibrugarh train travel time will be reduced by about three hours to 34 hours as against 37 hours presently.

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The Bogibeel bridge being an engineering marvel is part of government’s infrastructure projects to improve logistics along the border in Arunachal Pradesh. Other plans include the construction of a trans-Arunachal highway on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, and new road and rail links over the mighty river and its major tributaries such as the Dibang, Lohit, Subansiri, and Kameng in Arunachal Pradesh.

Reportedly, the bridge will provide connectivity to nearly five million people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and will reduce distance between various towns of the two states.

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