Modi to inaugurate Bogibeel Bridge on Dec 25, Cong sees it as poll code violation

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Dec 5: At last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the country’s longest road-cum rail bridge Bogibeel Bridge in Dibrugarh on the Christmas day on December 25, a senior official of Northeast Frontier Railway informed here Wednesday.

Notably, December 25 is observed by BJP-led NDA government as “Good Governance Day” across the country coinciding with the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

However, the announcement made on the day of voting for the first phase of panchayat poll in the state triggered protest by Congress describing it as violation of model code of conduct.

The Bogibeel Bridge that made the final testing with first loaded freight train crossing it on Sunday last from Rangapara North Junction to Tinsukia is the country’s longest rail-road bridge, connecting the north and south banks of the Brahmaputra.

Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda had laid the foundation for construction of the Bridge in January, 1997.

However, the work started only in April 2002 when former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee formally launched the construction.

Earlier, Union minister of state for railways, Rajen Gohain had announced in a much-publicised press conference that the bridge would be opened for public on December 25, last year. But the Bridge missed that deadline, like several other occasions before and after that.

Spanning 4.94 km, the Bogibeel Bridge over the Brahmaputra will connect the twin districts of Dibrugarh and Dhemaji. The bridge is expected to usher in a new era of economic development in the region, apart from strengthening national security in the border areas.

The bridge is part of infrastructure projects of the country to improve logistics along the border in Arunachal Pradesh. This includes the construction of a trans-Arunachal highway on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, and new road and rail links over the mighty river and its major tributaries such as the Dibang, Lohit, Subansiri and Kameng.

Meanwhile, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) lodged a formal complaint before the state election commissioner (SEC) HN Borah alleging that the announcement has violated the model code of conduct during the first phase of panchayat election in 16 districts.

In a formal letter to SEC, the APCC general secretary Ranjan Bora said PMO has announced the date to inaugurate Bogibeel Bridge on a day, when voting for the first phase of panchayat elections election is going on.

The APCC also lodged complaint against a local news channel alleging violation of Model Code of Conduct by airing election campaign after the campaigning for the first phase of poll was over. They further alleged rigging in two polling stations in Nagaon.

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