Dhola-Sadiya Bridge- India’s Longest River Bridge to Transform Road Connectivity in the North-Eastern Region
Dhola-Sadiya Bridge, India’s longest river bridge, across River Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra in Assam’s Tinsukia district was inaugurated on May 26, 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it was decided to name it after Bhupen Hazarika. This bridge will shorten the distance between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by 165 km and will reduce travel time between the two states by five hours from six hours earlier to just one hour now. The new bridge can withstand the weight of 60-tonne battle tanks and will provide easy access to Indian Army to reach the country’s eastern borders. This assumes strategic significance given its position vis-a-vis the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh will give a major boost to tourism and overall economic development of the area by transforming road connectivity in the north-eastern region.
Highlights of Dhola-Sadiya Bridge are as under:
India’s Longest River Bridge spanning 9.15 km with three-lane carriage way is built across the Lohit River, a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra. It connects Sadiya town in Assam’s Tinsukia district with Dhola village in Arunachal Pradesh.Highlights of Dhola-Sadiya Bridge are as under:
- It is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai. The sea link has now become the second longest river bridge in the country.
- Seismic buffers have been provided in all its 182 piers given to the fact that theNorth East is prone to high seismic activity.
- The construction of the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge began in 2011 by the Ministry of Road Transport along with Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd., under the public-private-partnership agreement.
- The total length of the project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km. The bridge is located 540 km from Assam’s capital Dispur and 300 km from Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar.
- The bridge will reduce the travel time between Rupai on NH-37 in Assam and Meka/ Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh from six hours to just one hour as the distance will shrink by 165 km.
- Earlier, the only means to cross the Brahmaputra at this location was by ferry in the daytime, and even this was not possible during floods. The Dhola- Sadiya Bridge will ensure 24X7 all weather connectivity between upper Assam and the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Constructed at a total cost of Rs 2,056 crore, the bridge is part of the Arunachal Package of Roads and Highways under the Ministry’s Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East.
- State-run SAIL is the largest supplier of steel for the bridge. The PSU has supplied around 90% or around 30,000 tonnes of steel, including TMT, structural and plates, for the bridge.
- This, the government claims, will result in saving of petrol and diesel worth Rs 10 lakh per day.
- The Dhola-Sadiya Bridge promises to provide efficient road connectivity to remote and backward areas which have poor road infrastructure, which will give a major boost to overall economic development of the areas north of the Brahmaputra in upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
- The bridge will also benefit the army, with convoys requiring less time to journey from Assam to the posts along the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge is also expected to enhance India’s defense capabilities in the northeastern region.
- The bridge will cater to the strategic requirements of the country in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, besides facilitating numerous hydro power projects coming up in the State, as it is the most sought after route for various power project developers.
- The bridge will increase industrial investments with better border trade between the Northeast and South Asian countries.