GUWAHATI, Sept 10 - A railway bridge is not required at the proposed four-lane bridge to be constructed by the NHIDCL over the Brahmaputra between Gohpur and Numaligarh, the Railway Board has said, citing proposals of two other railway bridges on the river � one between Silghat and Tezpur and another on the Jorhat-Gogamukh new line.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had sent an inception report of the Gohpur-Numaligarh four-lane bridge project to the Railways to explore the possibility of constructing a rail-cum-road bridge in the site as �an integrated structure�.
In a letter to the NHIDCL, the Railway Board said the Tezpur-Silghat new line has been sanctioned in the Pink Book (which details all the budgetary allotment in railway projects) of 2017-18, which includes a railway bridge on the Brahmaputra. �The NHIDCL�s Numaligarh-Gohpur bridge is 93 km upstream and therefore, it would not be desirable to modify the alignment of the Tezpur-Silghat line,� the board noted.
Moreover, the reconnaissance engineering-cum-survey (RET) has been sanctioned for the new Gogamukh-Jorhat line to connect Majuli and the Numaligarh-Gohpur bridge is 45 km downstream of the proposed railway bridge at the river island.
�Shifting of the alignment of the Rail Bridge to proposed location of Road Bridge across Brahmaputra will defeat the very purpose of the RET survey � connectivity of Majuli Island with Jorhat via a short route,� the letter stated.
Meanwhile, NHIDCL sources said once the State government gives the go-ahead after studying the inception report (the broad outline of the project), Louis Berger will start the work of preparing the DPR of the Numaligarh-Gohpur bridge. The four-lane bridge will be around 9-km long, with 10 km of approach roads on both sides.