The issues pertaining to infrastructure and connectivity in North East India are seemingly becoming things of the past thanks to quick intervention by the present Government of India to accomplish all pending projects initiated by previous governments, and by announcing new projects. The launch of longest (approximately 5 km) rail cum road bridge in India, Bogibeel Bridge, to connect Dhemaji and Dibrugarh districts, situated at north and south bank of river Brahmaputra in Assam respectively, is demonstration of serious strides from the Central Government to bring North East on National Agenda. The bridge was formally inaugurated and dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25 through his visit and public address organised at Kareng Chapori on the Northen Bank of Brahmaputra. He also flagged off the first passenger train passing through the bridge.
In his speech Mr Modi maintained that the bridge contains immense economic and strategic significance for the nation. It may be recalled that only a few months back (May 27, 2017), the PM inaugurated another longest road bridge in India so far (Bhupen Hazarika Bridge) on Lohit river (a major tributary to Brahmaputra river) to connect Dhola in Tinsukia district of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. This bridge too has immense significance from NE’s economic development and the country’s defense logistic’s point of view.
Dibrugarh is the gateway to the three tea-producing districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, and Sivasagar, which produce approximately 50 per cent of India’s Assam tea crop. Well-known as the Tea City of India, Dibrugarh is also an important centre of healthcare, education and commerce in the region, and the people living north of the Brahmaputra, can now access this city, more conveniently. Recognised as the nerve centre of industry, communication and healthcare of the upper Assam region, is well connected to the rest of India by rail, road and air transport and thus serves as a gateway to eastern Assam and also parts of Arunachal Pradesh.
Study reveals that the city of Dibrugarh is emerging as a popular destination for business and leisure trips for tourists from India and abroad. It may be recalled that the 9th edition of the North East Business Summit was held in the city with the theme “Building Bridges with South East Asia”, where representatives from South East Asian nations and business leaders of the country pledged to contribute substantially for the socio-economic growth of the North East. Rail and road connection with north bank of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh would surely accelerate the growth process of the city in manifold, while facilitating the growth of commerce and industry in Dhemaji region in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Connectivity with other cities
Meanwhile, Dibrugarh has an airport for domestic operation at present providing connections with Guwahati, Kolkata, Delhi and other cities in India. There is a rising demand for international air connectivity, especially with South East Asian countries. Reports say, the Airports Authority of India is planning to make Dibrugarh Airport an air hub for the northeastern region, along with Guwahati and Agartala. Dibrugarh is also very well connected by railways and road transport in North East and rest of the country. Significantly, Dibrugarh is having Rajdhani Express originating from and terminating in it daily. Dibrugarh is also having a developed waterway transportation system along and across the Brahmaputra river, known as the National Waterway 2 which extends from Bangladesh Border to Sadiya in this region. In addition, luxury cruise services are also available from Dibrugarh to Guwahati. The cruise to Dibrugarh passes through Tezpur and the Kaziranga National Park. Dibrugarh is also possessing immense tourist attractions ranging from tea estates and their heritage to wildlife and culture. These tourist attractions likely to be further enriched combining North Assam and Arunachal Pradesh with smooth connection owing to the launch of Bogibeel bridge.