GUWAHATI, Aug 17: BJP legislator from Dibrugarh constituency Prasanta Phukan has proposed that the country’s longest road-cum-rail Bogibeel bridge in Dibrugarh district should be named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a tribute to the former prime minister.
Vajpayee had formally started the construction work of the bridge at a function at the historic Chowkidinghee grounds here on April 21, 2002. He had ensured that the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge will be a facility with two BG rail tracks.
The project was approved by the Centre in 1996 as part of several infrastructure projects earmarked for the state under the Assam Accord of 1985.
Paying tribute to Vajpayee at the party office at Dibrugarh, Phukan said naming the Bogibeel bridge as “Atal Setu” would be a befitting tribute to the tallest leader of the country.
“I will soon write to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to take up the matter with the Centre to name Bogibeel bridge after Atalji. My proposal is that the bridge should be named Atal Setu. It is a matter of great proud for us that Atal ji has given the push to the construction of Bogibeel bridge which is a national project. It will be the befitting way to pay our respect to the great statesman,” Phukan told reporters on Friday.
Phukan also proposed that the bridge should be inaugurated on December 25, coinciding with the birth anniversary of the former prime minister.
The construction of 4.94 km long bridge over the Brahmaputra is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the mega project.
Once completed, the bridge will connect Dibrugarh district in Assam with Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge, with three-lane roads on top and double line rail below, is one of the strategically important infrastructures that will significantly improve the logistical supplies especially for the armed forces in Arunachal Pradesh which shares the border with China.
Another BJP leader Parag Dutta said that naming the bridge as “Atal Setu” will be a real tribute to the true Indian statesman.
Assam public work department (PWD) minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in June this year took stock of the Bogibeel bridge project and said that bridge will be ready in another four months.
The project cost has escalated from Rs 1,767 crore to Rs 5,000 crore.