Bogibeel bridge, in India's North-East, is the country's longest rail-cum-road bridge. Apart from the obvious fame factor of being the longest rail-road bridge, the Bogibeel bridge is special for several reasons. For one, it has been built by Indian Railways over river Brahmaputra and provides crucial rail-road connectivity.
Bogibeel bridge, in India’s North-East, is the country’s longest rail-cum-road bridge. Apart from the obvious fame factor of being the longest rail-road bridge, the Bogibeel bridge is special for several reasons. For one, it has been built by Indian Railways over river Brahmaputra and provides crucial rail-road connectivity to the lesser developed districts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. For another, the Bogibeel bridge comprises of two railway lines and a three lane road bridge on top. The civil work for the bridge is expected to be complete by July, after which the signalling and electrical work will be done – estimated to take two months. Given the huge infrastructure and strategic importance of the Bogibeel, PM Narendra Modi is expected to inaugurate it by the end of this year. That’s around 16 years after the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundation stone of the Bogibeel bridge in 2002! Bogibeel bridge is 4.94 kilometres long, revised from an initial estimated length of 4.31 kilometres. PM Modi has time and again stressed on need to improve railway and road connectivity to the North-East states, and the Bogibeel bridge is a crucial step in that direction. We take a look at 10 facts about the Bogibeel bridge that will leave you in awe!
1. Connectivity: Bogibeel bridge, which has taken several years to build, will connect the North and South banks of river Brahmaputra in the Eastern region of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
2. Defence boost: The 4.94 kilometres long Bogibeel bridge will be a big boost for the defence forces as it will provide faster connectivity to areas near the India-China border. This means swifter movement of troops and weapons systems.
3. The journey: Bogibeel bridge is located around 17-kilometres away (downstream) of Assam’s Dibrugarh area. As stated above, the foundation stone for the Bogibeel bridge was laid on 2022 and in 2007, the UPA government had accorded it the status of a National Project. The Modi government had asked for expediting work on the bridge which had already missed several deadlines.
4. Challenges: Bogibeel bridge is also unique for the challenges that were faced in constructing it. Speaking to Financial Express Online, North-East Frontier Railway CPRo Pranav Jyoti Sharma has earlier said that crucial the work for the bridge could only happen between November and March. That’s because early flooding the river Brahmaputra makes it unsafe to continue work. The bridge required huge amounts of construction material to be mobilised in those few months. According to Sharma, the transportation of concrete across the river channels of 600 metres to 900 metres width from the banks was the biggest challenge. This was overcome by adopting pumping of concrete through pipe line laid over buoys.
5. Rail links: As mentioned above, Bogibeel is a rail-cum road bridge and will connect two existing railway networks that run at the North and South banks of river Brahmaputra. At the South bank of the river, the railway link starts from Chalkhowa and Moranhat stations and joins in between the Sisibargaon and Siripani stations of Rangiya-Murkongselek section at North Bank through the Bogibeel bridge.
The North bank railway link was converted from metre gauge to broad gauge. According to Indian Railways, the block section between Dhamalgaon and Tangani station will be a double line section under which the Bogibeel Bridge lies.
6: Road links: A 29.446 km national highway will connect NH-37 at South Bank and NH-52 at North Bank of river Brahmaputra. The national highway road link will consist of 11.25 km at South Bank, 13.26 km at North Bank and 4.94 km on the Bogibeel bridge.
7. Saving time: Bogibeel bridge’s biggest benefit is the time that it will save. As of now a train journey from Arunachal Pradesh to Assam’s Dibrugarh requires a 500 km detour via Guwahati. Now, the journey will be less than 100 km. Also, the train journey between Delhi and Dibrugarh will also come down from 37 hours at present (via Guwahati) to 34 hours – a reduction of 3 hours.
8. Fully welded structure: According to Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Bogibeel bridge is a 100% welded bridge! Technology from firms of Sweden and Denmark have been used for its construction. One advantage of a 100% welded ridge is that it is light and the fully welded girders mean reduction in the weight when compared to riveted girders.
9. Estimated cost: The Bogibeel bridge project was initially sanctioned at a cost of Rs 3230.02 crore, but the final cost was revised to Rs 4857 crore keeping in mind cost escalation and increase in the length of the bridge to 4.94 km as against 4.31 km proposed earlier.
10. Other facts: Bogibeel bridge is the second longest in Asia and has been built 32 metres above the Brahmaputra river water level. The design of the bridge is similar to that of a bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden.