India has built a bridge connecting Arunachal Pradesh and Assam across the Lohit River. This is the longest river bridge that has been built in the country, at an impressive 9.15 km. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated the bridge yesterday, 26 May, 2017.
So what’s the second longest bridge in the country? According to the newspaper, the Hindu, it is the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
The Lohit River? This is a river that starts in Tibet. It is Arunachal Pradesh’s main river, and flows through this state into Assam, and then merges with the Brahmaputra. The river flows through soil that is rich in laterite – a mix of iron and aluminium. The water therefore acquires a red tinge, and the river is spookily nicknamed “the river of blood”!
What’s the bridge called? The Dhola-Sadiya bridge.
Why is this important? This connection reduces the travel time across the river from 6 hours to one hour, and reduces the distance to be travelled from 165 km to 9.18 km across the bridge, or to a total of 28.5 km if including the access roads to the bridge. This is important for business as goods and cargo can move across the state borders much faster. It provides connectivity to the people who live in these areas across the bridge and helps them get access to hospitals and supplies much faster. It also provides the Indian army better access to the border between India and China, so that India can use it for defence, should the need arise.