New Delhi: Indian Railways has launched the main arch of the world’s highest bridge on the River Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district which will provide direct connectivity to the Kashmir valley.
The iconic bridge will soar 359 metres above the bed of the River Chenab and will be 30 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
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.
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 bridge is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,250 crore and is part of a big project.
According to reports, more than 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round-the-clock to complete the bridge 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.
On the other side of the Chenab river, the Railways is constructing three big tunnels of various lengths T2 (5.9 KM), T3 (9.37 km) and T14 (13 km).