Bhaskar Gogoi was 18 when then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurated the construction work for the Bogibeel bridge in 2002. Its foundation stone was laid by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda in 1997.
Sixteen years after work on the bridge started, Mr Gogoi has come to the site to see the completed bridge. Spanning 4.94 km in length, the Bogibeel bridge, India’s longest railroad bridge, will be thrown open for traffic by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
“I was in school when late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajyapee came here to inaugurate the construction work. Over the years this bridge has been our dream, it is an outcome of several protests, struggle and is a major boost to this part of northeast” Mr Gogoi told media.
Hailed as an engineering marvel, the Bogibeel bridge is also a key infrastructure for the defence of the north eastern border. “Bridging the Brahmaputra is in itself is challenging. It is a high rainfall area and falls in the seismic zone. This is a bridge which is unique in many ways. It is the longest in the country,” said Pranav Jyoti Sarma , CPRO of Northeast Frontier Railways.
Built by the Indian Railways, the double-decker bridge has two railway lines on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the upper, strong enough to withstand movement of heavy military tanks.