India will soon have the world’s highest railway bridge above the bed of river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir. Standing tall at 359 metres, it will be 30 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris. Almost 66% of the work on the bridge being built on the Katra-Banihal railway line at village Kauri in Reasi district has been done. The project is likely to be completed by June 2019.
As per a report in the PTI, the bridge which is 1.3 km long is being constructed is going to incur an overall expenditure of Rs 1,250 crore. Konkan Railway chief engineer RK Singh has been quoted as saying that over 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working on the project to complete it by 2019.
The construction of this bridge started in 2004 but the work had to be stopped in 2008-09 over fears of passenger safety due to frequent high-velocity winds in the area. The area was surveyed again and efforts were made to look for an alternative place.
However, it was later decided that taking into account the high altitude of the area, the current site would be the most suited for the bridge. The train operations will be stopped when the wind velocity rises to 90 kmh.
Apart from the bridge, the Railways is constructing three big tunnels of various lengths on the other side of Chenab river. Being constructed by the AFCONS Construction Company, VSL and Ultra companies, the bridge can withstand winds up to 260 kmph and will have a lifespan of 120 years.
As per the AFCONS project manager SM Viswamurthy, the company has bought a crane from Italy at a cost of Rs 20 crore to carry all the construction material to the site of the bridge. The crane will be with the railways after the bridge is constructed for maintenance purposes.
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