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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 18 virtually launched key connectivity projects in the Northeast, besides laying the foundation of two bridges while claiming that the “double-engine” governments at the Centre and Assam has helped bridge the geographical and cultural gap in the region over the past five years.
“Assam and Northeast have seen development take place in all directions, and the projects launched on Thursday will only speed up the pace of progress in the region,” Modi said.
The programme where the Prime Minister launched the projects from New Delhi through video conferencing, was centrally organised at Majuli in Upper Assam where Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Mansukh Mandviya, Assam Chief Minister and other ministers were present.
Laying the foundation of the 19 km bridge connecting Dhubri in the western part of Assam and Phulbari in Meghalaya, the Prime Minister said the bridge, the longest in the country so far, would improve connectivity in Barak Valley and reduce the distance between Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Assam.
“The distance between Dhubri and Phulbari is about 250 km by road, and once the bridge is ready, it will be reduced to just 19-20 km,” he said.
The Prime Minister also announced the commencement of work on the 8 km Jorhat-Majuli bridge, which he said would address a long pending demand of people of the river island of Majuli.
“This is going to be a bridge of convenience and possibilities,” he added.
To mark the launch of ‘Mahabahu-Brahmaputra’, Modi inaugurated the Ro-Pax vessel operations between Neamati-Majuli Island, North Guwahati-South Guwahati and Dhubri-Hatsingimari.
He also laid the foundation stone of Inland Water Transport (IWT) Terminal at Jogighopa and various tourist jetties on the Brahmaputra besides launching digital solutions for ease-of-doing-business.
“Many bridges like the Bhupen Hazarika Setu, Bogibeel Bridge, Saraighat Bridge are making the life of Assam easier today, which strengthens the security of the country and provides great convenience for our soldiers. The campaign to connect Assam and North East has been carried forward today,” he said.
Talking about the ‘Mahabahu-Brahmaputra’ programme, Modi said that it would strengthen water connectivity by Brahmaputra water through port-led development.
“The three Ro-Pax services which were launched on Thursday make Assam a front-runner state to be connected with Ro-Pax services at this scale. This, along with the four tourist jetties, will significantly improve Assam’s connectivity with the Northeast,” he said.