Dhubri-Phulbhari Bridge, India's longest river bridge will be 'game changer' for Northeast: Japanese Ambassador Suzuki Satoshi

The 19 km-long bridge will connect Assam and Meghalaya over the Brahmaputra River.

Japan's ambassador to India Suzuki Satoshi said that the Dhubri-Phulbhari Bridge, India's longest river bridge, will be a game changer for Northeast India to enhance the flow of goods and people.

"Congratulations on Foundation Laying of Dhubri-Phulbhari Bridge, Hon’ble @narendramodi. The Bridge will be a "game changer" for #NorthEast. Japan is proud to be the partner for #NorthEast development through financial & technical assistance," Satoshi tweeted..  

The foundation stone of - the Dhubri-Phulbhari Bridge was laid virtually by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. The construction of the Dhubri-Phulbhari Bridge is expected to be completed by September 2026 at a total cost of around Rs 4,997 crore.  

The 19 km-long bridge which will connect Assam and Meghalaya over the Brahmaputra River is provided with financial support by Japan, amounting to Japanese Yen 25,483 million (approximately INR 1,573 crore), as “North East Road Connectivity Improvement Project- Phase 3 (l),” the Embassy of Japan said in a statement.

The proposed bridge is expected to drastically reduce the traveling time between Dhubri in Assam and Phulbhari in Meghalaya.

"While the existing land route requires more than eight hours, and even the ferry route requires about 2.5 hours, people will be able to make this trip with only 23 minutes of travel time," the statement read.

Joining the felicitation of the foundation stone laying ceremony, Suzuki,  said, “It is my great honour to congratulate the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the prestigious Dhubri-Phulbhari Bridge project, together with Honourable Prime Minister Modi. I am proud that Japan is able to make contributions to such an important project. The Northeast of India is situated where India’s Act East Policy and Japan’s vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific converge".

Suzuki added that the Dhubri-Phulbhari Bridge will connect the Northeast with West Bengal and other parts of India, as well as with Bhutan and Bangladesh, and provide a route to the Bay of Bengal for the Northeast.

The Dhubri-Phulbhari Bridge symbolises the friendship between Japan and India and, in particular, the cooperative relationship that Japan and India will have in Northeast India in the future, the ambassador added.

Since 2008, Japan, through its funding agency known as JICA, has extended 231 billion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 16,174 crore) as concessional ODA loans for development of the Northeast region. Enhancing connectivity is one of the prioritised areas to support. Japan has extended 146 billion Japanese Yen (approximately INR 10,239 crore) over Phase 1 to Phase 4 of the North East Road Connectivity Improvement Project, to help develop and improve national highways in the Northeastern states, including NH-40, NH-51, NH-54 and NH-208.

First Published:Feb. 19, 2021, 12:51 p.m.

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