NEW DELHI (INDIA): The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has inaugurated India’s longest bridge – the 9.15 km long Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the River Brahmaputra, in Assam today.nnThe bridge will ensure 24X7 connectivity between upper Assam and Eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, marking a major transformation from the ferry-based, day-only connectivity that collapsed during floods. It will also reduce the distance and travel time between the two states.nnThe distance between Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka/Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh will be cut down by 165 KM. The travel time between the two places will come down from the current six hours to just one hour ? a total five hour reduction.nnAddressing a public meeting at Dhola on the occasion, the Prime Minister said Dhola-Sadiya bridge opens the door for economic development in the North East on a big scale.nnHe said the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country have the greatest potential for economic development, and this bridge is just one element of the Union Government’s vision in this regard.nnThe Prime Minister further said that enhanced connectivity between the North-East and other parts of the country is a priority for the Union Government, and work has been greatly speeded up in this regard.nnHe said that good connectivity in the North-East will also link the region with the economy of South-East Asia.nnThe Union Government has decided to name the Dhola-Sadiya bridge after the great musician, lyricist and poet, Bhupen Hazarika.nnAlso speaking on the occasion the Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said that highways and inland waterways projects worth about Rs 40,000 crores are currently being implemented in the North Eastern states, and there are plans to spend about Rs 1,50,000 crores on projects in these states in the next two years .nnHe gave details about the major highways projects in the eight North Eastern states and said that a total of about 3,000 km of roads are currently being constructed in these states.nnHe also elaborated upon the planned and ongoing work for development of the Brahmaputra River (National Waterways ? 2) and Barak River (National Waterways-16).nnHe said that developing road and inland waterways connectivity was a major priority with this government as this would greatly raise prosperity in the North Eastern region of the country and bring about development not only in these states but in the country as a whole.