Friday 27 May 2022
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Railways launch main arch on world’s highest bridge on Chenab

Kauri: The Indian Railways has launched the main arch of the world’s highest on the Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi which will provide direct connectivity to the Kashmir Valley.

The iconic will soar 359 metres above the bed of the River Chenab and will be 30 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The 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

“We have begun the work on installations of main arch between two sides of the bridge. We have launched the main- arch”, M K Gupta, Member Engineering, Railway Board told reporters here yesterday

The iconic is being constructed on River Chenab on the Katra-Banihal section as part of the flagship Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) Project, Gupta said.

The launch of the main arch is a noteworthy endeavour as it entails carrying heavy segments from two ends of the bridge – Kauri end and Bakkal end – and involves the world longest cable crane arrangement.

The 1.3-km-long is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,250 crore.

“It is part of a big project. The work is being done by AFCONS through Konkan railways. We will complete it by May 2019”, Gupta said.

National and international consultants have been engaged during various stages of the project. Detailed geo-physical studies, seismic studies and slope stability studies have been included.

Gupta said that three massive workshops for undertaking fabrication of steel structure has been commissioned at Srinagar end of and one at Katra end of the bridge.

The officials said that more than 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round-the-clock to complete the by May 2019.

The construction started in 2004, but the work was stopped in 2008-09 on the aspect of safety of rail passengers due to frequent high velocity winds in the area.

The officials said that it was finally decided to stop train operations when the wind velocity touches 90 kmh with the help of the automatic signalling system and anemometer (instrument to measure the velocity of winds).

He said the under construction can withstand winds upto 260 kmh and its lifespan will be 120 years.

On the other side of Chenab river, the Railways is constructing three big tunnels of various lengths T 2 (5.9 KM), T 3 (9.369 km) and T 14 (13 km).

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