Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya bridge — the country's longest bridge — in Assam on Friday. The bridge has been named after singer and poet Bhupen Hazarika.
The PM also inaugurated a slew of other infrastructure projects in the state aimed at developing the North-East region. PM Modi, during his visit, laid the foundation stone for a couple of projects — AIIMS and Indian Agriculture Research Institute. "Both projects will quicken the development of Assam & the Northeast," the PM said in a tweet.
The projects, which were launched a decade ago under former PM Manmohan Singh's government, were fast-tracked by PM Modi after he took charge in 2014.
The bridge is about 9.2 kms in length which makes it 30 percent longer than the Bandra-Worli Sealink in Mumbai. It is being built on the Lohit River, which is a tributary of River Brahmaputra. The bridge, which is estimated to cost close to Rs 10,000 crore, will reduce travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh from six hours to around one hour. It will also reduce the distance between both states by 165 kms.
The bridge has been designed to facilitate the easy movement of battle tanks and troops to the Indo-China border in the Wallong-Kibithu sector in southern Arunachal Pradesh. It can withstand the weight of 60-tonne battle tanks.
"The bridge that you've been waiting for five decades is finally here... it will be known by the name of (singer) Bhupen Hazarika," PM Modi said at a public rally. Modi also laid the foundation stone of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Assam at Gogamukh in Dhemaji district and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS at the Sarusajai stadium in Guwahati.
"Change doesn't come through tokenism... By 2022, when India is 75 years old, we want all farmers' income to double. I have five years to do this, and I will achieve this target... Farmers are currently suffering from drought, hail, floods, etc. We need to create a safety net to save them. We need to follow the example of the Northeast, which has embraced organic farming in a big way," Modi said.
Modi also advocated the use of solar energy and the promotion of timber farming and said that 'NE' will "not be known as North East anymore, but New Engine, for the new engine which will drive India's economy forward."
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 26, 2017
Futuristic infrastructure that will power India's growth....PM at the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge during his Assam visit. pic.twitter.com/w8T14p4dNc
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) May 26, 2017