After 16 years after the construction work for the Bogibeel bridge, the longest rail-road-bridge is finally here on the eve of the double celebration of Christmas and Good Governance Day. The inauguration coincides with the birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee under whose government construction work on the project had kicked off all the way back in 2002.
PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the bridge at 2.00 pm on Tuesday in Dibrugarh in Assam. After reaching there, PM Modi walked along the bridge, and later took a drive on it whilst waving at the sea of crowds.
The bridge is of great significance. The bridge will have a three-lane road on its top deck and a two-line railway track on the lower deck. The girder has a steel floor for the railway track and a concrete surface for the road.
He also flagged off the first train on the Bogibeel Bridge in Dhemaji and later addressed the gathering.
Here are the key pointers from his speech:
PM Modi began his speech congratulating the people of Assam for having India's longest rail-road-bridge and also spoke about its benefits for the people of the state.
"Thank you for attending this event in huge numbers. It is a historic day indeed. Congratulations on the longest rail-road-bridge of the country. The bridge is an engineering marvel, has brought Assam and Arunachal Pradesh closer. It has curtailed the distance between the two states, where people used to travel the entire day on the Brahmaputra river to reach their destination," he said.
He also said that the Bogibeel Bridge is a tribute to Atalji's vision.
"I am in Assam on the day we mark the anniversary of our beloved Atal Ji. Atal Ji gave great importance to good governance. Good governance is all about strong and inclusive growth. The Bogibeel Bridge is also a tribute to that vision of Atal Ji ."
He spoke about what is Good Governance.
"In the last 60-70 years, only three bridges were built over the Brahmaputra. In last 4 and a half year, we initiated to construct 5 bridges. This is Good Governance. Within one year 12,000 families have received free electricity. Seven lakh bank accounts of people of Assam have been opened... We stand, not for relations and relatives. We stand for the development of all the parts of the nation"
He also slammed the Congress over halting the progress in the state and also spoke about the extradition of Christian Michel.
"When Shri Vajpayee's government lost power in 2004, several key infrastructure projects of his era were not completed. As the Atalji's government was not elected back.. all the good projects were stopped. If Atalji would have been in power this bridge would have been completed by 2007-08.
...Four years ago no one could think that the biggest 'raajdar' of the helicopter scam would be brought to India. But the work of bringing this 'raajdar' to India has also been done by our government."