In order to improve military mobility along the India-China border, India has completed the construction of the country’s longest bridge over the trans-boundary Brahmaputra river which flows through China, India and Bangladesh. Set to be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 26, the bridge will not only significantly improve connectivity in India’s north-eastern region, but it will also help contain the adverse situation along the border.
As the crow flies, the bridge is less than 100 km from the Chinese border and is designed in such a way so as to facilitate quick movement of troops and artillery in times of conflict. It has been built to withstand the weight of army tanks of up to 60 tons. “It will be used by people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh besides defense forces extensively,” Assam Chief Minister Sarbandanda Sonowal said.
The 9.15-km-long bridge will significantly reduce the travel time between Arunachal Pradesh that shares its border with China and Assam that hosts the north-eastern region’s crucial rail route and civilian airfields. Arunachal Pradesh does not have its own operational railways and civilian airport.
This bridge will serve major connecting point to the military bases in the eastern part of India to the China border. Through this, India can swiftly move forces from Panagarh military base located in West Bengal.
Panagarh will be the base station for mountain strike corps which is being raised by the Indian Army especially for operations against China.
India has positioned its six C-130Js in Panagarh in West Bengal to improve the mobility of armed forces on the border with China. The location is some distance away from the border but within easy reach of the planes earmarked for special operations and rapid troop redeployment.