NEW DELHI: A railway bridge taller than the Eiffel Tower is being built across the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir and is slated to be ready by 2019. It will be the world's highest railway bridge.
The 1.3 km long "engineering marvel" will connect Bakkal in Jammu's Katra and Kauri in Srinagar. The arch-shaped 35-metre tall structure is being constructed at a cost of 1,110 crores.
The bridge will be a crucial link that connects the Kashmir valley to the rest of the country, part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.
Once completed, it will break the record of the 275-metre tall Shuibai railway bridge in China
"The construction of the bridge is the most challenging part of the Kashmir rail link project and once completed, it will be an engineering marvel," said a senior Railway Ministry
official who is part of the project.
The mammoth structure will be made of over 24,000 tonnes of steel and will rise 359 metres above the Chenab bed. The special blast-proof steel can withstand terror attacks and can resist extremely low temperatures and high wind speeds.
According to officials, to safeguard the bridge and the train passengers, an aerial ring of security, online monitoring and a warning system will be in place.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged of India's longest road tunnel between Chenani and Nashri in the state. With the roads in the region being prone to snow and landslides in winter, the Jammu-Srinagar national highway remains blocked for most parts of the season, cutting the Kashmir valley off from the rest of the country.