A railway bridge is not required at the proposed four-lane bridge to be constructed by the NHIDCL over the Brahmaputra between Gohpur and Numaligarh on the Rangiya Division of Northeast Frontier Railway, the Railway Board has said, citing proposals of two other railway bridges on the river – one between Silghat and Tezpur and another on the Jorhat-Gogamukh new line.The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways had sent an inception report of the Gohpur-Numaligarh four-lane bridge project to the Railways to explore the possibility of constructing a rail-cum-road bridge in the site as “an integrated structure”.
In a letter to the NHIDCL, the Railway Board said the Tezpur-Silghat new line has been sanctioned in the Pink Book (which details all the budgetary allotment in railway projects) of 2017-18, which includes a railway bridge on the Brahmaputra. “The NHIDCL’s Numaligarh-Gohpur bridge is 93 km upstream and therefore, it would not be desirable to modify the alignment of the Tezpur-Silghat line,” the board noted.
Moreover, the reconnaissance engineering-cum-survey (RET) has been sanctioned for the new Gogamukh-Jorhat line to connect Majuli and the Numaligarh-Gohpur bridge is 45 km downstream of the proposed railway bridge at the river island.
“Shifting of the alignment of the Rail Bridge to proposed location of Road Bridge across Brahmaputra will defeat the very purpose of the RET survey – connectivity of Majuli Island with Jorhat via a short route,” the letter stated.
Meanwhile, NHIDCL sources said once the State government gives the go-ahead after studying the inception report (the broad outline of the project), Louis Berger will start the work of preparing the DPR of the Numaligarh-Gohpur bridge. The four-lane bridge will be around 9-km long, with 10 km of approach roads on both sides.