Indian Railways is currently busy building one of the engineering marvels that will soon connect one of the most remote parts of the country with the mainland.
The national transporter is building the world’s highest railway bridge over river Chenab that will connect the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India. The bridge is being built on the Katra-Banihal railway line at village Kauri in the Reasi district. According to officials the bridge will be 359 meters above the Chenab river bed and will also be 30 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
The bridge will be 1.3-kilometer-long in length.
Konkan Railway is executing the ₹12,000-crore Chenab rail bridge project. Around 1,400 men 500 of whom are locals are working through the day to complete the structure.
The construction of the bridge started in 2004, but the work stopped in 2008-09 because of the safety aspect of the passengers due to frequent high-velocity winds in the area. A senior Railway official claimed that the bridge under construction can withstand winds up to 260 kmph and its lifespan will be 120 years.
The bridge forms the crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal which is part of the Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project.
It is the seventh-largest arch-shaped bridge in the world as there is no support except on both sides of the river banks, one of the supporting RCC and steel pillar is 133 meters high. The arch is being supported by piers and trusses.
The railway minister posted pictures of the ongoing construction and wrote on @PiyushGoyal: “All weather rail connectivity — Embarking on a dream project, Indian Railways is building world’s highest Rail bridge on Chenab connecting the Kashmir Valley. An engineering marvel, it will facilitate trade & be a strategic asset for the Indian armed forces.”
According to a report, Indian Railways is also planning to host bungee jumping and many other exciting sports events at the bridge.
There will be sightseeing points, trekking routes, and hotels slated to be constructed in the area to cater to the tourists in the difficult terrain, railway officials said.
Indian Railways is also constructing three big tunnels of various lengths – T 2 (5.9 kilometres), T 3 (9.369 kilometres) and T 14 (13 kilometres) on the other side of Chenab river.
*With Inputs from Agencies