Srinagar: In s significant development, Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal, said that the arch bottom of the Chenab rail bridge has been completed.
According to news agency KINS, Goyal said, “In a historic moment, the arch bottom of the Chenab Bridge has been completed today. Next, the arch upper of the engineering marvel in making will be completed,”
He also said that it is all set to be the world’s highest Railway Bridge.
The Ministry of Railways also posted a video on its official Twitter handle showing the ongoing work on the ‘marvel in making’.
The arch bridge is a part of an ambitious railway project connecting Jammu and Kashmir to the rest of India.
Work on putting the main arch began in November 2017.
The ₹1,250-crore bridge will be 359 metres above the Chenab river bed
The overall length of the bridge is 1,315 metres.
Construction of the first three phases of the project has been completed and the line is in operational use for running of trains between Baramulla-Banihal in Kashmir valley and Jammu-Udhampur-Katra in Jammu region.
The 1,315m-long bridge is being built at a height of 359m. Once completed, it will be the tallest rail bridge in the world.
The Rs5.12bn ($92m) bridge is a part of Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Line (JUSBRL) project being undertaken by the Ministry of Indian Railways. The bridge will include a 14m-wide dual carriageway and a 1.2m-wide central verge.
The officials said that the project is expected to be finished by December 2021 and will have a lifespan of 120 years. It will contribute to the economic development of the state and help in providing better transportation accessibility within the state and the country.
“Travelling in and around the mountainous terrain of Jammu and Kashmir has been a great difficulty for locals. An urgent need to provide better transportation facilities was recognised by the Government of India. Construction of a national railway project that will connect J&K with the rest of India was therefore proposed,” a top official in the Railways told news agency KINS.
He said that the JUSBRL project was launched in 2003 as part of this proposal. “The 345km-long railway line between the Jammu and Baramulla regions will enhance mobility within the state and across India. The railway line will traverse along Jammu-Udhampur-Katra-Quazigund-Baramulla. Construction of the Jammu to Udhampur section was completed and opened in April 2005. Work is progressing on the Udhampur to Baramulla section,” he said.
“The project includes construction of several bridges and tunnels along the route, of which Chenab Bridge is one. It will span across the deep Chenab river and provide access to the Kashmir valley from Udhampur.
The project was suspended in 2008 due to construction challenges. The alignment of the entire JUSBRL project was reviewed to propose solutions for the challenges faced. The review work was submitted to the Railway Board and approved in 2009. The design of the bridge, however, was approved in July 2012,” he maintained.(KINS)