On 26 May, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Dhola-Sadia Bridge, the country’s longest river bridge built over river Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra. The bridge connects the easternmost tip of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The total length of the project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km. Of this, the length of the bridge is 9.15 km. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 2,056 crore. The Union government has decided to name the Dhola-Sadiya bridge after the great musician, lyricist and poet, Bhupen Hazarika.
The construction work began in 2011 and was slated to be completed by 2015. The bridge has been designed to facilitate the movement of battle tanks. It is also expected to help in the movement of troops to the border with China in the Wallong-Kibithu sector in southern Arunachal Pradesh.
The three-lane bridge will ensure 24×7 connectivity and reduce the distance from Rupai on NH-37 in Assam to Meka/Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh by 165 km. It will also reduce the travel time from six hours to one hour. The bridge will also help numerous hydro projects which will come up in Arunachal Pradesh in future.
By providing efficient road connectivity to remote and backward areas, the bridge is expected to give a major boost to overall economic development of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It will also cater to the strategic requirements of the country in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh.