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Debate over genesis of Bogibeel Bridge heats up


DIBRUGARH, Dec 8 - As the commissioning of the country�s longest rail-cum-road Bogibeel bridge is about to happen, a debate over the genesis of the bridge over the Brahmaputra is heating up.

While it has been widely publicised that the bridge is an offshoot of the Assam Agitation and subsequent historic Assam Accord, AGP leader and former Union Minister Birendra Prasad Baishya has reportedly claimed that he and his entourage of AGP leaders were instrumental in bringing about the Bogibeel project.

Sarat Chandra Neog, a freelance journalist and author of �Bogibeel Dolongor Jonmor Itihas� while refuting AGP leader Birendra Prasad Baishya claim during a press conference also dispelled the popular public perception that the bridge is an outcome of the Assam Accord. Neog said that the credit for the Bridge must first be attributed to Ramesh Chandra Borooah, Speaker, Assam Assembly, Lakshmi Prasad Dutta, Ex-Rector, Dibrugarh University, Binanda Chandra Baruah, Secretary, Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha and Jagat Chandra Neog, ex-president, Borborooah Gaon Panchayat. �These men and others were the first to demand bridge over Brahmaputra to connect the northern and southern bank in 1977. They had submitted a memorandum to the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai on June 21, 1977,� Neog said and produced a copy of the memorandum before the newsmen to substantiate his argument.

Neog said that the foundation of the Bogibeel bridge was laid on January 22, 1997 on the northern bank by HD Deve Gowda, by the then Prime Minister. �Given this fact, how can the AGP leader claim that they had urged upon the then Prime Minister to include their demand (Bogibeel bridge) in the 1997 Rail Budget (then placed in Parliament on the last days of February),� Neog questioned and added that the AGP leader was lying and trying to distort the history.

The journalist further said that the Assam Accord was signed in 1985 while the memorandum by the four distinguished personalities of Assam was submitted to the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai in 1977. The Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha was formed in 1962, and old timers say the Sangha�s then office bearers raised the Bogibeel bridge demand even earlier than 1977.

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