Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the South Asian country’s longest river bridge in north-eastern province of Assam close to the border with China on May 26.
The 9.15km-long Dhola-Sadiya Bridge over the Brahmaputra River is the strongest one in India, as it is capable of withstanding the weight of a 60-tonne battle tank. The recently-constructed bridge is 3.55km longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai.
With the inauguration of the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge, Prime Minister Modi starts the celebrations of his government’s three years in office. The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Thursday that India constructed the bridge in an attempt to meet its defence requirements along the Sino-Indian border. The bridge will also provide easy access to the people of neighbouring Indian province of Arunachal Pradesh with air and rail connectivity.
Defence experts believe that the strategically important bridge will allow the Indian forces to take appropriate measures in order to counter Chinese aggression in the coming days. Meanwhile, the provincial government thanked the Modi administration for strengthening the road connectivity in the north-eastern part of India by constructing the bridge.
The construction work of the bridge started in 2011 and New Delhi has spent INR 9,500 million in the last six years for this purpose. As the aerial distance to the Chinese border is less than 100km, the bridge will have a huge strategic value to India. “It will help quick movement of military troops and artillery in times of conflict,” stressed a senior Defence Ministry official. The bridge, built in public-private partnership, is one of the key projects of the Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways near the Chinese border.
As the Modi government stepped into its fourth year on Friday (May 26), it started marking three years since its landslide victory over the Congress-led government in 2014 with a series of events that would last 20 days. The Indian prime minister arrived in Assam on Friday morning to launch a number of infrastructure projects, including the country’s longest bridge.