- December 25, 2018, 5:40 pm
The 4.94 km Bogibeel, the fourth bridge across river Brahmaputra to be inaugurated was one of eight spans pursued in 1973 to ease the pressure on the 4,258-ft Saraighat Bridge on the western edge of Guwahati.
Until the Saraighat was built in 1962, the Brahmaputra was the only river in India that had not been bridged along its entire length from delta to foothills either for road or railway.
The first push for the bridge was from a citizen’s forum in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh.
Bogibeel bridge is a combined road and rail bridge over the Brahmaputra river in the north eastern Indian state of Assam between Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district. The Bogibeel bridge, situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh and Dhemaji, spans the Brahmaputra river and will connect the town of Dibrugarh in the south to Dhemaji to the river's north.
SIGNIFICANCE OF BOGIBEEL BRIDGE
- 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. 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. 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.
- 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. . It will drastically cut time for induction of troops and logistics during a war-like situation.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Bogibeel bridge is also unique for the challenges that were faced in constructing it. 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. 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. Moreover The Inland Water Transport (IWT) Department of Assam fears that the Bogibeel bridge will impact ferry services to a large extent.
However the Bogibeel bridge will usher in a new era of economic development in the region, apart from strengthening national security in the border areas.