By Parag Jyoti Saikia and Suraj Gogoi

Infrastructures are intriguing things. They always represent more than they actually are. Histories of infrastructures are replete with such examples. While integral to nation-building processes, they also represent flows of capital and resources. In doing so, they carry a ‘developmentalist’ or ‘people-centric’ cover. A recent example of this is the bridge named Bhupen Hazarika Setu, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Constructed over the Lohit river, the bridge is supposed to give impetus to the people of Sadiya, a sub-division of Tinsukia district, and neighbouring areas of Arunachal Pradesh. It also aims to boost the country’s economy, hydropower and defence. It is ironic that until a decade ago there was immense anxiety and fear about the downstream impact in Sadiya by the mega dams proposed to be built on multiple rivers of Arunachal Pradesh. The inauguration of the bridge, however, ignited hope of mobility. Consequently, it also doubly increased the risk of further downstream impact on Sadiya, for the main purpose of the bridge lay elsewhere. Click here to read the full article.


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The article was first published in It is reposted here, for wider dissemination.