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Second rail-cum-road bridge at Saraighat demanded


GUWAHATI, Nov 16 - The Assam Rail Passengers' Association (ARPA) has called upon the Central government to construct a new rail-cum-road bridge over the Brahmaputra at Saraighat to take care of long-term passenger traffic as well as the trade and commerce needs of the State.

ARPA secretary Dipankar Sharma said that while the road bridge being built by Gammon India is nearing completion and Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain has already announced that a second rail bridge is likely to come up at Saraighat, these initiatives are not enough to fulfil the long-term needs of the region.

�The existing bridge at Saraighat is already over 50 years old and it cannot operate for long. The new road bridge being built will, by itself, not be enough to take care of the road traffic after a few years. Similarly, there is also need for a second rail bridge at Saraighat. Taking all these things into consideration, the Centre should rather construct a road-cum-railway bridge over the Brahmaputra at Saraighat with a view to taking care of the needs for the next 50 years,� he said.

Sharma added, �The road-cum-rail bridge should have double rail track and provision for four-lane road. As the bridge being built by Gammon is expected to be inaugurated soon, we request the government that the foundation for a new road-cum-rail bridge should also be laid simultaneously.�

Sharma said though Gohain has announced that a second rail bridge is being planned at Saraighat, no details regarding its specifications have yet been released.

He said the Saraighat bridge being the only point of communication between the north and south banks of the Brahmaputra for around 150 kilometres on both the eastern and western directions, is of importance not only from the point of view of trade, commerce and communication, but is also of major strategic value. �So, having an entirely new rail-cum-road bridge at the place with futuristic planning is of vital importance,� Sharma said.

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