Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday led the celebration for the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) three years in power from Assam where he inaugurated India's longest bridge, spanning 9.3km across the Brahmaputra, which promises to turn the north-east into a showpiece of infrastructure development.
The bridge will ensure fast connectivity between upper Assam and eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh by reducing the distance and travel time between the two states.
The bridge will save travel of 165 km and time of six hours. "That's why the whole nation has its eyes on this bridge", the Prime Minister said here on third anniversary of his government.
Addressing a rally at Zero Point of Dhola in Tinsukia district, the Prime Minister also announced that the bridge will be named Dr Bhupen Hazarika Setu after the iconic cultural figure even as over 70,000 people present there erupted in joy.
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He also said that when the people of this country were fed up with corruption, scams of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, they called on the "saint from Gujarat" (Modi) to lead the nation. He stressed on development of infrastructure, electricity, roads, rail infrastructure and optical fibre network in the northeast.
The bridge also opens new road for the high quality ginger grown by farmers of the region and will improve their economic condition.
"If Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji had returned to power in 2004, then you would have got this bridge 10 years ago", he said.
India opened its longest bridge close to the border with China in a move seen as bolstering its defences in a sensitive region. "This region can play a huge role in connecting India to Southeast Asia", Modi said. "We will soon start setting up floating terminals at 15 identified places on Brahmaputra river", he said.
Besides inaugurating, the Prime Minister along with Union Minister Nithin Gadkari and Assam Chief Minister Sarabananda Sonowal, travelled through the bridge with his convoy. "Prime Minister had promised creation of two crore jobs every year but only 1.35 lakhs jobs was created in 2015 which was the worst in past seven years". In the upstream after 120 km there is a bridge available for crossing the same but it travels through hard hilly terrain on north bank.