New Delhi: Assam’s long wait for the Bogibeel bridge is set to come to an end as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off India’s longest rail and road bridge on 25 December. The 4.9 km-long bridge on the Brahmaputra river boasts of being Asia’s second longest rail-cum-road bridge. The bridge is seen as an attempt by India to shore up its defence requirements along the Sino-Indian border, particularly in the Northeast, besides providing easy access to the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam with air and rail connectivity.

Here are ten interesting things to know about the Bogibeel bridge:

1. The Bogibeel bridge is constructed at an estimated cost of 5,900 crore.

2. The bridge, has a ‘serviceable period of around 120 years’, PTI quoted senior officials as saying.

3. The Bogibeel bridge is built by Hindustan Construction Company(HCC).

4. The bridge has a two-line railway track on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the top deck. For the first time for Indian Railways, the girder has A steel floor system for railway tracks and concrete for road.

5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will open the bridge to traffic tomorrow (25 December 2018), 16 years after it was announced by the then prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The inauguration ceremony of the bridge coincides with the 94th birth anniversary of Vajpayee, who died in August this year.

6. The bridge will reduce travel time from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh to four hours. It will also reduce the Delhi to Dibrugarh train-travel time by about three hours to 34 hours as against 37 hours presently.

7. Sanctioned on 22 January 1997, the then Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda had laid the foundation stone for the bridge. However, construction began only after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurated the work site on 21 April, 2002.

8. The bridge will reduce the distance to Northeast region by 165 km, saving fuel worth 10 lakh per day in the region.

9. The bridge is among the infrastructure projects planned by India to improve logistics along the border in Arunachal Pradesh.

10. While inaugurating the Bogibeel bridge in May 2017, PM Narendra Modi dedicated it to the musician and film-maker Bhupen Hazarika.

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