A megaproject is underway to connect Kashmir valley to the Indian mainland via Indian railways. The world’s highest railway bridge – ‘Chenab bridge’ is being constructed by the Indian Railways over the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir. This is India’s first cable-stayed railway bridge on Anji Nallah in Reasi, as per the current announcement this bridge will be completed by 2022.
The Deputy Chief Engineer, RR Malik who is also the product manager said, “We have a deadline by 2022.” When he was asked about the difficulty of this project, given its geographical location, he said, “It is not an easy job, building in such terrain.”
As per the current announcements, the bridge will connect Kashmir valley with Katra in Jammu and the rest of the country. This will also reduce the journey time from Katra to Srinagar by 5-6 hours.
All Weather Rail Connectivity: Embarking on a dream project, Indian Railways is building world's highest Rail bridge on River Chenab connecting Kashmir Valley.
An engineering marvel, it will facilitate trade & be a strategic asset for the Indian armed forces. pic.twitter.com/fUcNmoHaNY
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) January 11, 2020
One of the senior government officials said- “This is the tallest railway bridge in the world and the maximum designed wind speed for the bridge is 266 kmph”.
This bridge will have a central span of 467 meters and is situated at a height of 359 meters from the bed level. This would be taller than Eiffel Tower situated in Paris with a height of 324 meters.
“This much-awaited 272 km-long link project, connecting ‘Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla’ via rail link, is likely to be constructed by August 15, 2022”, an official said.
According to the Railway officials, a preliminary survey for the 223 km-long Jammu-Poonch rail link at an estimated cost of Rs 22,768 crore was completed and submitted in 2017; and for the 39 km-long Baramulla-Kupwara rail link with an estimated cost of Rs 3,843 crores, the survey was completed and submitted to the Railway Board in July this year.
The bridge will be 1.3Km long in length, with a resistance of earthquake measuring more than 7 in Richter scale. There will be signalling arrangements that would ensure the train does not encounter high wind velocity at that height.
Indu Kanwal Chib (KAS), the Deputy Commissioner in Reasi said, “this bridge will be one of its kind. It also has a helipad, so what will happen, people from Delhi can come via chopper”.The distract of Resai is famous for the Vaishno Devi shrine which is also expected to get a major boost in tourism with this highest railway bridge project.
With the construction of this bridge, the ease of accessibility of the Jammu & Kashmir state will increase significantly. This will also be highly beneficial in the generation of local employment and further lead to a boost in the economy of the state. People of Jammu and Kashmir are optimistically waiting for the completion of this project, hoping for a prosperous future with this connectivity.