CHENAB BRIDGE TO BE READY TO WELCOME TOURISTS OF WEST BENGAL BY DECEMBER, 2023 : SHRI ASHWINI VAISHNAW, HON’BLE MINISTER OF RAILWAYS
Kolkata, March 26, 2023 :
Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, visited the Chenab Bridge, the world’s highest Railway Bridge – a part of Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) Project and held a press conference at the site today on 26.03.2023. Speaking on the occasion, Hon’ble Minister said that the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi through his visionary leadership has opened new avenues of development in the country. The iconic Chenab Bridge is example of such new chapters and dimensions of development materialised by the inspiring leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister.
Describing the bridge as an engineering marvel, using a mammoth 28000 Metric Ton of steel fabrication, strong foundation adding a span of about half a football ground area will play a pivotal role to establish Jammu – Srinagar direct Rail connectivity. Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Hon’ble Minister of Railways also informed that, a Vande Bharat train maintenance depot will be constructed at Badgaon to facilitate running of Vande Metro rake between Jammu & Srinagar.
While answering the media at the press conference, Hon’ble Railway Minister revealed the following points :
• Foundation design of Chenab Bridge was an engineering challenge. The foundation has been built on a vast area having a coverage of half a football ground size to provide adequate stability for the bridge.
• The Himalaya being a comparatively new mountain, tunnelling work in the Rail route has been an engineering challenge which was sorted out by applying HTM (Himalayan Tunnelling Method) technique developed by Indian engineers.
• The Vande Metro trains will link the two cities of the state i.e. Jammu & Srinagar within a short span of 3 to 4 hours of journey time.
• Four Gati Shakti Terminals will be constructed between Baramulla and Banihal to provide easy market for the local merchandize across India and at the same time inhabitants of the valley will get necessary input materials at lower cost due to cheaper logistics service by Railways.
• The bridge is stable enough to withstand earthquake to the extent of 8 Richter scale which Hon’ble Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted. The bridge is stable enough to have a life span of 120 years.
• The Hon’ble Minister assured people that security arrangements will be provided in close co-ordination between Police, Railways & Security Forces and the passengers can safely travel over the section.
• While constructing the bridge, care has been taken to maintain the availability of water resources to the nearby villages by not disturbing the natural flow of the river.
• The Railway track in the area is maintenance-free as ballast-less Railway tracks have been laid keeping in view the difficult terrain of the region.
• While answering to the question of Kolkata media through Shri Kausik Mitra, CPRO of Eastern Railway & Metro Railway regarding tentative time period of availability of direct train connectivity for the tourists of West Bengal from Kolkata to Srinagar enjoying the journey over Chenab Bridge, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Hon’ble Minister of Railways replied that, by the end of December’ 2023 or January’ 2024, the entire Jammu – Srinagar section will be ready for the tourists of Bengal. Hon’ble Minister also added that, people of West Bengal then will be able to bring ROSOGOLLA for the people of Kashmir and take back Apples, Jaffran and Pashmina from Kashmir to West Bengal.
Hon’ble Minister thanked all the engineers and other Railway staff for their devoted work in completing the Chenab Bridge.