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India's longest bridge on Brahmaputra river named after singer Bhupen Hazarika

The 9.15-km bridge stretches over the Lohit river in Assam and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

Shriram Iyengar

Singer Bhupen Hazarika was honoured by the Indian government today. The longest bridge in the country, located in Assam, has been named after the famed singer. The bridge which connects the regions of Dhola and Sadiya is 9.15 km long and stretches across a part of the Brahmaputra river.

Hazarika, who was born in Sadiya, was a poet, singer, journalist, and composer. He was awarded the Padmashri in 1997, followed by the Padma Bhushan in 2001. The composer also was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, and won the National Award for Best Music for Chamelee Memsaab (1975). The singer-composer was awarded the highest honour in Indian cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke award, in 1992.

It was members of the Arunachal Literary Society who had put forth the idea to name the bridge after the poet singer. The Arunachal Times quoted Arunachal Literary Society president YD Thongchi as saying, "Dr Hazarika, during his life time worked relentlessly for unity and integrity for all caste, creed and religions through his songs and music. And it is the dream of the people of the state of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam that the bridge constructed at Sadiya be named after him."

A prolific composer, Hazarika also scored music for Hindi films such as Ek Pal (1986), Rudaali (1993) and Daman (2000). Hazarika passed away in 2011 at the age of 85.

Speaking about the bridge, Prime Minister Modi said, "The bridge will not only save money, reduce travel time but it comes as a foundation for the beginning of a new economic revolution. That's why the whole nation has its eyes on this bridge."

The Dhola-Sadiya bridge is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra-Worli Sea link in Mumbai and cost a whopping Rs2,056 crore to build.