One of Asia’s longest river bridges will be built across the Brahmaputra, connecting Dhubri in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya. It will cut road travel by 203 km as also travel time. The 19.3 km, four-lane bridge will be built by 2026-27.
Considering how critical the bridge construction will be, the government’s highway construction wing, the National Highways and Industrial Development Corporation Ltd, recently reached out to global players in France.
At present, vehicles take an over 200 km-long detour using the Naranarayan bridge, which is about 60 km upstream. The Dhubri-Phulbari bridge will serve to complete the missing link of NH127B from Assam to Meghalaya. Currently, 20 to 30 small boats operate between Dhubri and Phulbari, carrying people and goods. It takes about two-and-a-half hours to cross the Brahmaputra river.
It will hardly take 15-20 minutes to cross the river after the bridge becomes operational. It will push economic activity and development on both sides of the river,” a road transport ministry official said.
“We will be floating tenders for the project and target to award the work during this financial year. It will be a public funded work. The construction of any bridge across Brahmaputra takes time since work can be carried out only for six months,” an NHIDCL official said. Japanese funding agency JICA has approved a loan for the project as part of a road infrastructure improvement package in northeast. Officials said it would also improve connectivity from West Bengal to Assam.