Dibang bridge icing on road building cake

*Hidden gem Dambuk to get exposed

By Pradeep Kumar

ITANAGAR | Feb 18 | The 7.5-km bridge being built over mighty Dibang River would serve as a life line between Lower Dibang Valley district HQs Roing and CO HQs Dambuk would be through by March 5 next to serve as a ‘Icing on the cake’ (sone pe suhaga) in state’s road connectivity map.

The ambitious Rs 750-crore project, part of double-lane Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH), is being built by Hyderabd-based Navyong Engineering Company Ltd, has built 126 strong pillars, company deputy project manager A Kantarao said on Saturday. The bridge is under technical test whose report has to be submitted to Union MoRTH ministry to get permission to make it functional, he told this daily. Road contractor Joram Taging, who confirmed his view, said that deadline was given to complete the road.

Hundreds of Congress leaders and workers led by APCC president Takam Sanjoy while on way to Lekang on Friday was allowed to cross the bridge but prevented on Saturday in public interest for the time-bound test.

The 25-odd vehicles turned towards Anshar ghat and crossed it smoothly but crossing Bomjir ghat, where locals ply mechanized boats to ferry vehicles and passengers proved to be too time consuming and costly. It took around five hours since 12 noon to cross the river after which it was a pleasant ride through 268-km black-topped NH to reach Itanagar.

The river proved to be too ferocious and risky as the boat floated backward because of few additional passengers and about to be either sunk or dashed against rocky bank when boatmen tried to control it. Sanjoy’s security personnel led by PPS L B Prasad deserve all praise for jumping into the river to prevent it from dashing against the bank.

It took about total eight hours, minus wastage of  five-hour, to reach state capital from Dambuk, famed  orange hub of the state, even today is known as an adventurous tiny town without hardly any proper  road.

Roing lawmaker Mutchu Mithi, who was heading for Roing from Itanagar, when asked about the benefit of the bridge, said that it would serve as lifeline between Lower Dibang Valley and Lohit district and end the suffering. It would herald a new era of economic development as Dambuk is famed for its vast agri-horticulture potentials. Moreover, it would facilitate better market linkage to benefit the farmers besides giving a boost to high potential tourism sector, particularly adventure tourism, he said.

Mithi is right as annual Orange Festival had put Dambuk in global tourism map. The last event during December 15 to 18 broke all past records by drawing adventures from across the globe for which, an initiative of Abo Tayeng, present Arunachal Pradesh state transport GM, deserves appreciation.

This bridge is part of TAH, a gift of UPA Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, announced on 31.01.08 at the initiative of   then chief Minister Dorjee Khandu. The state is now in the middle of a hectic highway building spree. The most significant among all these projects is TRA – a two-lane highway project, passing through Bomdila, Nechipu, Seppa, Sagalee, Yupia, Yazali, Ziro, Daporijo, Along, Pasighat, Roing, Tezu, Mahadevpur, Bordumsa, Namchik, Changlang, Khonsa & Longding, would connect Tawang, a strategically located along India-China border in north-western Arunachal Pradesh to Kanubari in the south-eastern tip of the state, before finally culminating in Assam’s Dhemaji district. It will connect 12 out of state’s total of 23 district HQs.

The total sanctions originally accorded were for 2,047-km at a cost of Rs 20,329 crore with March 2027 as target for completion, according to MoRTH officials, UNI had reported in October 2017.

Northeast India, with extraordinarily important international strategic dimensions, is not only India’s land bridge to Myanmar but also a gateway to South East Asia and beyond.  Thus, the NH aimed at providing stronger all weather roads, bridges and robust infrastructure for speedy connectivity, particular to Indo-China border. Arunachal share 1,080-km of India’s border with China.

The TAH, along with soon-to-be-completed Bogibeel Bridge in Assam, is expected to boost Arunachal Pradesh’s connectivity with the rest of country, and help India counter China’s aggressive highway building exercise on the other side of the border along Arunachal Pradesh. Thus, Dambuk lawmaker Gum Tayeng must be the happiest among all residents of the assembly constituency.

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