Bengal’s longest river bridge ‘Joyee’ in Mekhliganj subdivision of Cooch Behar district is all set to be thrown open for public use. Built on the Teesta for Rs 415 crore, the 2.7km bridge connects Haldibari block of the district with Mekhliganj. Till now, Farakka bridge held the crown at 2.27km.
CM Mamata Banerjee had laid the foundation stone on August 5, 2015, and named the bridge ‘Joyee’. The bridge stands on 78 pillars. The entire project has been funded by money the Centre had allocated for rehabilitation of people who came to India after the exchange of enclaves.
The bridge, once open, will reduce the distance between Haldibari and Mekhliganj by 68km. Currently, people of these two towns travel 72km via Jalpaiguri and Maynaguri. The travel time will be cut short from 2 hours to barely 15 minutes. Banerjee is scheduled to visit Alipurduar on February 2 for a party meeting. She is likely to inaugurate Joyee virtually from there.
“All my life I have seen my father go to Mekhliganj through Jalpaiguri-Maynaguri to collect his salary. He would have been a happy man to see this bridge open had he been alive today,” said Sajal Chakraborty of Haldibari.