J&K – The issues around the state

Places in news: Chenab Arch Bridge

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Chenab Arch Bridge

Mains level : Not Much

A half-a-kilometre long arch, the defining feature of the world’s highest railway bridge over river Chenab, is set to be completed today.

Chenab Arch Bridge

  • The bridge is part of an ambitious 272-km rail link project and is being constructed by the Northern Railway at an estimated cost of ₹28,000 crores.
  • The bridge will be able to withstand earthquakes with a magnitude of up to eight and high-intensity blasts.
  • The bridge, which will include a 14-metre dual carriageway and a 1.2-metre-wide central verge, will have a design speed of around 100 kilometres per hour with a lifespan of 120 years.

Its inception

  • The preparations of the rail link began in 2002 and the initial plan was to connect Kashmir’s northernmost city Baramulla to New Delhi.
  • Work on the bridge started again in July 2017 with the aim of completing the construction by the end of 2019 but due to contractual issues in 2018, it was delayed.
  • Steel was specifically chosen for the construction of the bridge as it will make the project more economical.
  • The metal will also be able to resist temperatures of minus 20 degree Celsius and wind speeds of above 200 kilometres per hour.

Significance

  • A railway bridge like this, with this kind of geography, has not been made anywhere in the world, according to the Railways.
  • It will symbolise the Kashmir rail link, to be ready for at least a century.
  • In other words, a train from Kanyakumari can reach all the way to Kashmir uninterrupted.
  • The cable crane that will do the job of completing the arch itself measures around 900 meters and is said to be the longest in the world, made especially for this project.
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