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News Entry# 77904  
Jun 16 2012 (10:34AM)  The bridge that Nehru named turns 50: Rail-cum-road Saraighat Bridge over Brahmaputra connects the North-East with rest of the country (www.tribuneindia.com)
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News Entry# 77904     
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Guwahati : The name Saraighat refers to a historic battleground where Ahom General Lachit Borphukon defeated the invading Mughal army in a fiercely fought battle in 1671.Today, Saraighat is the most important point for the surface communication network of the country as there stands tall and stout a 1.5 km-long rail-cum-road bridge called Saraighat Bridge.It has been bridging the width of the mighty Brahmaputra river near Guwahati linking the region to the rest of the country.It was the first bridge to be built across the mighty river to bridge the surface communication route between the North-East and the rest of the country. This month, the bridge has stepped into its golden jubilee year. It was in June 1963 that the first Prime Minister of the country Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the bridge in a grand function held at the nearby Maligaon railway stadium.The Northeast Frontier (NF) Railway is responsible for the...
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maintenance of the road-cum-rail bridge.An official of the NF Railway Public Relation Department said that the structure of the bridge has remained intact even after five decades of service. This conclusion was drawn by a team of experts from IIT-Guwahati in April after their services was hired by the NF Railway to examine the state of the bridge.The source said that all the 11 pillars of the bridge were found in sound condition. The bridge is fit enough to continue to serve the people for years to come.The 1.5 km bridge was constructed at a cost of Rs 10.65 crore at that time. A diesel engine was run on the rail bridge on September 23, 1962 and goods train service was started on October 31 the same year.Besides a huge volume of vehicular and passenger traffic, the bridge bears the weight of 85 goods and passenger trains running over it every day.The construction of Saraighat Bridge began in January 1959 and Hindustan Construction Company completed the work in September 1962. Nehru formally laid the foundation of the bridge on January 10, 1960.
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