What is the significance of Dhola-Sadiya bridge?
PM Modi inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya bridge, that serves to improve connectivity and reduce traveling time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge was constructed as a part of the Arunachal Package of Roads and Highways under the Ministry's Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East. The bridge's construction is linked to several strategic goals, including saving on daily fuel usage.
Can also improve hydro-power prospects
Sources stated that the bridge is also a blessing for companies planning hydro-power projects in the region. The bridge will serve as an easier and more economical means of transporting machinery and material required for these projects.
Improving transport, saving fuel
Currently the fastest way from Assam to Arunachal is by crossing the Bhramaputra by ferry. This service is operational only in the day. During times of floods, ferries do not operate and hence transport across the river is impossible. The bridge gives 24x7 connectivity between both sides. By reducing the distance between Assam-Arunachal, the bridge saves Rs. 10 lakh per day in fuel.
Enabling better economic development around Brahmaputra
The bridge is also a means to improve economic and trade connectivity between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The regions north of the Brahmaputra will now have better trade access. In addition, it is now easier to facilitate the movement of infrastructure building equipment and thus improve development in the region. It will also help bring several communities in the region to the economic mainstream.
Can help the army improve preparedness
One important strategic benefit of the bridge is that it can also help transport army troops and equipment to better fortify India's forward positions along the Sino-Indian border. While it would be risky to use it during war-time, as it is an undefended static target, it can help bolster army positions inside Arunachal during peace time. It is a logistical boon for the army.
What about earthquakes?
The Brahmaputra region around eastern Arunachal Pradesh is prone to earthquakes, posing a threat to the long-term viability of the bridge. However, the government has built seismic buffers in all 182 of the bridge's pillars to minimize any damage from earthquakes.