The Dhubri district administration has commenced the process of land acquisition to facilitate the construction of India’s longest river bridge over the Brahmaputra, Guwahati Plus has reported.
The Dhubri-Phulbari bridge, proposed to be completed by 2026, will be India’s longest river bridge and would span more than 19 km. This proposed bridge, will connect Assam’s Dhubri with Meghalaya’s Phulbari.
On the Dhubri side(North Bank), the approach – which includes an embankment and viaduct – will be around 4.3 km, while that on the Phulbari side (South Bank) will be around 2.3 km. The navigation portion of the bridge – above the water – will be 12.6-km-long. Around 103.78 hectares of land will have to be acquired for construction of the bridge.
The project is to be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and is likely to cost over Rs 4,000 crore.
Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, announced in June this year that work on the bridge was set to begin soon. Gadkari had directed the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) to ensure that work for the Dhubri-Phulbari bridge is is awarded by this year-end.
The proposed bridge, considered strategic, will connect the state of Assam and Meghalaya with the rest of the nation, reducing the detouring road distance by about 250 km from Dhubri to Phulbari. Currently, those who travel across these states either take the Naranarayan bridge, which is a huge inconvenience as it is 60 km upstream, or, alternatively, row across the river in small boats, which can take about two-and-a- half hours.
Assam’s easternmost bridge, the Bhupen Hazarika Bridge, across the River Lohit, one of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra, is currently India’s longest bridge at 9.15 km. The bridge was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May last year.