DIBRUGARH/LAKHIMPUR: Ushering in a new revolution in the connectivity of Assam and other north-eastern states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated India’s longest (4.94 km) rail-cum-road Bogibeel Bridge to the service of the nation.
Addressing the gathering after the inauguration of the bridge on Tuesday, the Prime Minister referred a stanza of the Bard of the Brahmaputra Dr Bhupen Hazarika that the mighty river is a confluence of unity. He wished the people of Assam on the eve of New Year and Bhogali Bihu, besides paying tributes to great personalities of the State like Chaulung Siu-ka-Pha, Lachit Borphukan, Bir Chilarai and Sarbananda Singha.
Terming the inauguration of the bridge as a historic occasion, the Prime Minister said that the development of the country is intrinsically dependent on the development of Assam and other states in the region.
On the contribution of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in the construction of the bridge, Modi said that he and his government feel honoured dedicating the bridge on the occasion of the former Prime Minister’s birthday being celebrated throughout the country as Good Governance Day.
Narendra Modi said this bridge carries the testimony of the engineering excellence of Indian Railways, besides turning it into a boon for military and security requirement of the country. According to him, the bridge is not only a mode of connection, but it will also be a lifeline for the people of the Northeast. Besides shrinking the 700-km distance from Itanagar to merely 200 km, it will also cut down the travel time by 5-6 hours, he said.
Prime Minister Modi also said that the present Central and State Governments have been trying to give fresh momentum to the development of the Northeast along with the development of connectivity. He further said that under the Act East Policy, efforts are on to expand connectivity of Assam and other States of the region with the South East Asian countries. In case of inland water transportation, he said that steps have been taken to connect the Chittagong and Mongla ports of Bangladesh through Brahmaputra and Barak rivers.
The Narendra Modi said that the Central Government has waged an unwavering fight against corruption in the country. He said that the Central Government has allotted 1.25 crore houses to the poor under PMAY and seized benami property worth Rs 5000 crore during last four-and-a-half years. He, moreover, said that licences of 3.15 lakh fake companies have been cancelled, Rs 7 lakh crore loans without any bank guarantee have been disbursed under Mudra Yojana, besides bringing back Rs 3 lakh crore to banks from loan defaulters and putting the middleman of helicopter scam of the previous government into jail.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the Bogibeel Bridge is a bridge of harmony and its opening would not only boost connectivity but also propel economic growth of the region. Sonowal recalled the contributions of Swargodeo Chaolung Siu-Ka-Pha, Bir lachit Borphukon, Bir Chilarai, Sati Sadhani, Sati Radhika, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika and Hemanga Biswani and said that their life and works inspired the Assamese people and strengthened harmonious co-existence.
While Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain delivered the welcome address, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu and Minister of Health and Finance etc. of Government of Assam Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma also spoke on the occasion.
Assam Governor Professor Jagdish Mukhi, BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary, several ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh Governments and others were present at the programme.
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