Days after India’s longest bridge – the Bhupen Hazarika Setu in Assam – was inaugurated amid much fanfare, it saw a gruesome accident leaving two youths seriously injured. Following this, the pitch for installing lights on the bridge has increased.
What exactly happened?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 9.15 Km-long Bhupen Hazarika Setu across the Brahmaputra river at Tinsukia, Assam, on the 27th of May 2017. Three days later, Arup Buragohain, 27, and Dhiren Jyoti Chiring, 18, residents of Dhola village, who were travelling from Dhola to Sadiya on a speeding motorcycle, hit a temporary camp.
Arup lost his left arm in the accident while Dhiren suffered serious injuries. The bridge, which has already seen a fair share of tourists, post its inauguration, is also in the news for hooligans consuming alcohol, and driving rashly on it. Haragovinda Borkakoty, principal of the Sadiya College nearby, has had this to say about the incident,
You don’t move in a house and then propose for lighting arrangement, do you? In the absence of lights, the bridge will become quite vulnerable to accidents and militant attack. Lack of security on the bridge will invite trouble for the commuters.
Encroachments on Indian roads cause many accidents
From parked vehicles to street-side shrines, encroachments on Indian roads come in many shapes and sizes, most of them contributing to accidents. The temporary camps with overhead tarpaulin that were set up when the construction of the bridge started in 2011 weren’t removed even after the bridge was inaugurated. These encroachments, in the absence of lighting on the bridge, resulted in a young man losing his arm.
Bhupen Hazarika Setu
Connecting Dhola and Sadiya in Assam’s Tinsukia district, the 9.15 Km bridge is 3.55 Kms longer than Mumbai’s Bandra-Worli Sealink, which was the country’s longest bridge until recently. The Bhupen Hazarika Setu assumes strategic importance as it links upper Assam with Eastern Arunachal Pradesh. It’s designed to facilitate troop movement to Arunachal Pradesh, including 60 tonne battle tanks.