Modi inaugurates India's longest river bridge in Assam

Representational Image

The bridge cuts the distance between Rupai on NH-37 in Assam to Meka or Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh by 165 km, limiting the travel time to just one hour. With the new bridge, Assam and Eastern parts of Arunachal Pradesh will enjoy round the clock connectivity.

Addressing a rally at Zero Point of Dhola in Tinsukia district, the Prime Minister also announced that the bridge will be named ‘Dr Bhupen Hazarika Setu after the iconic cultural figure even as over 70,000 people present there erupted in joy.

Without naming former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Goel said, "Before the Modi government was mandated to rule India, the country was inflicted with corruption, price rise, scams and chaos and there was a prime minister who couldn't take decisions, and decisions were being taken by someone else". "That is why the whole nation has its eyes on this bridge", he said. The 66-year-old prime minister has made upgrading India's infrastructure a priority, also setting up a ministry to develop India's remote northeast beyond the so-called Chicken's Neck - a narrow strip of territory around Bangladesh.

"Sikkim has already shown the way by becoming an organic state and if the seven other north-eastern states also follow in that direction, the region will become a global organic hub as there is huge market potential in this area", the prime minister said. Had Atalji won the elections in 2004 again, the bridge would have been completed ten years back, ” Modi said. Till now, the only means to cross the Brahmaputra at this location has been by ferry, that too only in day-time. If work had continued then you would have had the bridge 10 years ago.

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Attacking opposition parties over the issue of demonetisation, Modi said opposition leaders tried hard to fuel anger among the common people, but it did not work as people supported the government.

"This bridge will boost tourism in the region and give employment to the people here". It will open up doors for economic development. "New waterways will start from here", the prime minister said.

Former Major General and security analyst Dipankar Banerjee says that in the past it was felt that "close to the border if you built roads, then it could perhaps be used for offensive objective by either side". If one considers the length of the approach roads, the total length of the project road is 28.5 km.

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