GUWAHATI, Oct 20 - The Numaligarh-Gohpur link could be an underwater tunnel instead of a bridge over the Brahmaputra river.
Consultant Louis Berger, which was engaged for preparing the detailed project report for the four-lane bridge, has been asked by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) to conduct a study on the feasibility of an underwater tunnel and make a project report.
�The tunnel option is being explored because of various reasons. One, the land acquisition hurdles will be lesser. Second, strategically, a tunnel is safer. Second, the time taken to construct the tunnel will be less as it will not depend on the water level of the river,� NHIDCL Executive Director (projects) Ajay Ahluwalia told The Assam Tribune.
The final feasibility report was submitted by Louis Berger Consulting Pvt Ltd recently. It has submitted both the options of constructing a bridge as well as an underwater tunnel.
The bridge option � to link Gohpur on NH-52 in the North Bank and Numaligarh on NH-37 in South Bank � will involve construction of a 22.9-km four-lane road and a 10.90-km four-lane main bridge with viaducts. The land acquisition cost in the bridge option will be around Rs 705 crore.
According to a preliminary estimate, the tunnel option will involve construction of a four-lane road of 18.95 km and a four-lane two-tube tunnel (cut and cover structure to be built inside an excavation) of 14.85 km. The land acquisition in this option would be just Rs 352 crore.
According to preliminary estimates, the bridge option would cost the government around Rs 6,000 crore, while the tunnel option would cost Rs 7,700 crore.
The NHIDCL will take a call on whether to go for a bridge or a underwater tunnel only after a detailed examination of both the options, Ahluwalia said.