After a two year delay, India’s longest bridge located at the Sino-Indian border, the “Dora – Sadiya Bridge” was completed recently, and will be inaugurated on May 26 by Indian Prime Minister Modi on the third anniversary of his rule. Indian media said the completion of the bridge, which is 9.15 kilometers in length, means that traffic from the Northeastern province of Assam to “Arunachal Pradesh” (i.e. China’s southern Tibet region) will be reduced by four hours. It is also considered to be an important measure by India to strengthen control in the eastern section of China – India boundary.
According to a “Times of India” report on the 15th, the largest bridge on the Brahmaputra River (Yalu tsangbu in Chinese) on, the Dora – Sadiya Bridge is designed for dual-use and is a two lane bridge on which Indian Army 60 ton heavy tanks can go across. The bridge north of the Arnie area is only 100 kms. from the Sino-Indian boundary.
According to reports, Dora – Sadiya Bridge cost 9.5 billion rupees (about 1 billion yuan). It was begun in 2011, and was originally scheduled to be completed in 2015. Modii will cut the ribbon of the Dora-Sadia Bridge before this year’s monsoon season, which is seen as a gift from the Indian government to the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Previously, the locals from both sides of the river could only rely on the ferry, and it took them four hours or more (to cross). Now, not only will the public transport be improved, but it will greatly reduce the time it would take the troops from Assam to be deployed to the northern shore of the Brahmaputra River. “As the Dora-Sadia Bridge is close to the Sino-Indian boundary, it will be extremely beneficial for India’s troops to mobilize as soon as conflict breaks out,” said Assam’s Chief Minister, Sarbananda, in an interview with the Press Trust of India.
“India Times” also cited observers analysing the Indian road construction sector, said that the completion of the bridge would make a big difference to road connectivity in “Arunachal Pradesh,” which is essential for the state currently has no airport. Whereas on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), an airport facility is already under construction. The source also revealed that widening of India’s NH-13 highway through the region is also in progress.
The Dora-Sadia Bridge is 3.55 kilometers longer than the bridge across the Mumbai, and this new Indian bridge record is considered another example of the speed of construction of the country’s infrastructure. Modi will go to Assam on May 26 for inauguration of the bridge project, which is being seen not only as the third anniversary of his rule but also a celebration of the first anniversary of the Bhartiya Janta Party’s rule in Assam.
China South Asia Association Executive Director, Qian Feng, told “Global Times” reporters on May 15th that this action of India reflects a hardening (strengthening) of its “occupation is (entitlement for) possession” approach, which has been stepped up under Modi. This move of India is not conducive for settlement of the Sino-Indian border dispute. It might trigger corresponding counter-measures on the Chinese side.