This Indian Railway project will dwarf the Eiffel Tower as it’ll be the world’s highest railway bridge at an elevation of 359 metres. The bridge will span the Chenab River.
The bridge’s main arch will be launched this week. This infrastructural marvel is quietly moving towards becoming a reality. This bridge is especially crucial as it’ll enable direct connectivity into the Kashmir Valley.
“We have begun the work on installations of the main arch between two sides of the bridge. We have launched the main-arch,” said M K Gupta, Member Engineering, Railway Board.
The 1.3 km long steel and concrete arch bridge will be the only link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Baniha. A magnanimous arrangement of cable crane spanning across 915 metres, which is believed to be world’s longest, has been entailed to carry heavyweight segments from either end of the bridge. Around 1,300 workers and 300 engineers are working on making this incredible project a reality. The bridge is expected to have a lifespan of 120 years. It’ll be able to withstand high-velocity winds up to 260 km per hour. It won’t take much long for this project to become functional; it is expected to be completed by May 2019.
Delay by Congress!!!
It doesn’t come as a surprise that this project was sanctioned in the early 2000s when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was in power. In 2008, the Congress government put a halt on it citing fear over the stability of the bridge and safety of passengers due to frequent high-velocity winds in the area. Clearly, this seems like a rather lame excuse because these same concerns exist even today but they have been addressed.
In 2017 under the Modi government, the project was expedited. The Indian Railways has equipped itself technically and technologically to put the project back on track. The Konkan Railways in collaboration with AFCONS Infrastructure Limited has taken on the task to construct this on a mega budget of 1,250 crore.