By Archana Prasad
New Delhi [India], March 15 (ANI): The arch bottom of the Chenab Bridge, the world's highest railway bridge, was completed yesterday, said General Manager of Northern Railways Ashutosh Gangal on Monday.
Speaking to ANI, Gangal said: "Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Rail link project is a total project of 272 km of which 111 km still remains to be done. Out of the 111 km project, a certain section passes through one of the most challenging territories. The project of this scale and this complexity has not been taken in India so far. Out of this, we have 97 km of tunneling, 66 km of escape tunnels and 7 km of bridges. Rocks are somewhere stable somewhere not. The longest is the Chenab bridge and it has cost us about Rs 1,300 crores. Arch is at a height of 359 metres from the bed of the river. On its completion, it will be the highest rail bridge in the world. That will be a great matter of satisfaction for us to execute this project under the Indian Railways."
"As far as this current project is concerned, the completion of the arch was planned in the first month of March and we are happy that the closing of the bottom portion has been accomplished yesterday i.e. 14 March. Further stages will be completed in the next few days and we are hoping that completion of the arch shall be completed by the end of this month," he said.
Elaborating on the details, he said, "The Katra-Banihal sections which remain to be done have some of the longest tunnels with the longest being 12.7 km. The longest bridges is the Chenab bridge of which the arch is nearing completion."
He further added: "This, in a real sense, is one of the most important connectivity projects ever under-taken because the connectivity by rail to Jammu was never available. This is important because Katra is a major destination for religious tourism with Mata Vaishno Devi temple being located there."
"Passengers can directly travel to and from Srinagar to Kanyakumari. So, this will be a major achievement and I'm very happy to say that we are on track to achieve the target set by Railway Board. We are working on it and we will able to achieve this connectivity in a planned manner soon," he said. (ANI)