Dhola-Sadiya bridge (Dr.Bhupen Hazarika Setu)

Dhola-Sadiya bridge (Dr.Bhupen Hazarika Setu)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya bridge in Assam. The new bridge will solve the road connectivity problem in the region. The three-lane, 9.15 kilometre Dhola-Sadiya bridge is India’s longest.
1) It will ensure 24×7 connectivity between upper Assam and eastern parts of Arunachal Pradesh. This bridge will reduce the travel time between Rupai in Assam to Meka/Roing in Arunachal Pradesh by around five hours.
2) The total length of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.5 km. The length of the bridge is 9.15 km
3) The bridge is earthquake-proof. It has seismic buffers in all its 182 piers.
4) The bridge will provide quick and easy accessibility for Indian Defence Forces in the region. It is strategically important to smoothen the military commute to Arunachal Pradesh due to China’s claims in the region.
5) It has been constructed on BOT (build, operate, transfer) annuity basis at a total cost of Rs 2,056 crore, as part of the Arunachal Package of Roads and Highways under the Ministry’s Special Accelerated Road Develoopment Programme for North East(SARDP-NE).
6) The bridge will help save petrol and diesel worth Rs 10 lakh a day.
7) 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.
Spanning 9.15 km, the bridge is built across the Lohit river, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra. It will connect Assam and eastern Arunachal Pradesh. The total length of the project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km.
2. The bridge is located 540 km from Assam’s capital Dispur and 300 km from Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar. It connects Sadia town in Assam’s Tinsukia district with Dhola village, also in Assam.
3. The bridge will reduce the travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh from six hours to just one hour as the distance will shrink by 165 km.
4. 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.
5. 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
6. A sum of ₹ Rs 2,056 crore has been spent on the bridge that can withstand 60 tonnes of weight, including battle tanks.
7. The bridge, which has a three-lane carriage way, will also 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.
8. The bridge will make it much easier for Army convoys to reach outposts near the China border. It is also expected to boost tourism as there is no civilian airport in Arunachal Pradesh and this will make the road transport smoother.
9. The bridge will increase industrial investments with better border trade between the Northeast and South Asian countries.
10. 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, structurals and plates, for the bridge
Lohit is one of three rivers – the others are Dibang and Siang – that meet to form the Brahmaputra downstream of the site of the bridge that connects Dhola village and Sadiya town, 540 km east of Assam’s principal city Guwahati.
Sadiya is the birthplace of balladeer Bhupen Hazarika.
The bridge, designed to facilitate the movement of battle tanks, is expected to help movement of troops to the border with China in the Wallong-Kibithu sector in southern Arunachal Pradesh. The sector had fallen along with Tawang in the northwest to the Chinese in the 1962 war.
The project, worth Rs 950 crore, was started in 2011. It will reduce the travel time for people on either bank of river Lohit by at least eight hours.
But Dhola-Sadiya is not the only bridge in the Northeast that will go into the record books.
Longest rail-road bridge
Also expected to be inaugurated by 2018 is Bogibeel, the fourth and easternmost bridge across the Brahmaputra. This bridge near Dibrugarh town, 4.94 km in length, will be India’s longest road-rail bridge.
Like Dhola-Sadiya, Bogibeel will also be of immense strategic importance as it will enable faster troop movements across the Brahmaputra besides providing a direct link between people on opposite banks who have to take a 500km detour via the existing Kalia-Bhomora bridge downstream.
9.15 km Dhola-Sadiya bridge is longer than the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai.
Bogibeel connects Dibrugarh town on the southern bank of Brahmaputra and Silapathar on the northern bank.
The construction of the bridge, approved in 1996, was initiated by the first BJP-led NDA government in 2002. The Congress-led UPA government acknowledged the strategic importance of the bridge and declared it as a national project in 2007.
But the progress of the project, undertaken by the firm that build Bandra-Worli Sea Link, has been slow. The cost has thus spiralled from the initial Rs 1,767 crore in 2002 to Rs 6,000 crore now.
The fourth bridge on the Brahmaputra, it will boost communication across eastern Arunachal Pradesh. The most significant beneficiary will be the Army, whose convoys will now save an estimated three to four hours in their journey from Assam to their posts at Kibithoo, Wallong and Chaglagam on the Arunachal-China border. Thus, the bridge is a great strategic boost to India’s defence capabilties in the North East.
Considering the geological vulnerabilities of the North East, being a high-seismic region, the bridge was built using state-of-the-art equipment, including imported hydraulic rigs, and provided seismic buffers in all its 182 piers.
The road transport and highways ministry cleared a feasibility study in August 2003 after demands from the locals. Construction began in 2011 and the original target date for completion was December 2015 but deadlines were breached and there were cost overruns.
The bridge shall enhance Indian Army’s mobilisation capabilities and movement of troops and heavy equipment in the forward areas bordering China. As of now, Army convoys in Assam either spend hours crossing the river by boat from Dhola to Sadiya, or take a circuitous 10-hour, 250 km road trip from Dinjan division HQ, near Tinsukia, to Tezu in Arunachal, before driving ahead to the border.
The bridge is said to withstand the weight of a 60-tonne battle tank.
The bridge is located 540 km away from Dispur, the capital of Assam, and 300 km away from Itanagar, the Arunachal capital. People from Arunachal travelling to the airport in Dibrugarh or the main railway station in Tinsukia can access the bridge to reach faster.
 Presently, it takes eight to ten hours from the border district of Anjaw in Arunachal Pradesh to Tezu, followed by another eight hours to Tinsukia or five hours to Dibrugarh. The new bridge will cut this travel time by four to five hours.
In contrast to the architectural and transportational accomplishment that the bridge has achieved, there’s a human cost of displacement as well. The boatmen who used to deploy all their boats whenever an Army convoy arrived have lost a big share of their business. Around 150 boats used to ply between the two ends of the river and with the inauguration of the bridge, their livelihood is said to be in the doldrums.
The Dhola–Sadiya Bridge, also referred to as the Bhupen Hazarika Setu (Assamese: ভূপেন হাজৰিকা সেতু), is a beam bridge in India, connecting the northeast states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.The bridge spans the Lohit River, a major tributary of the Brahmaputra River, from the village of Dhola (Tinsukia District) in the south to Sadiya to the north.The bridge is the first permanent road connection between the northern Assam and eastern Arunachal Pradesh.

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