The construction of world's tallest rail bridge on river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir is entering a crucial phase after the main arch was launched by the Indian railways today. With about 70 per cent of the work completed, over 1,200 workers and 300 engineers are working round-the-clock to meet the project's completion deadline in 2019.
Here's all you need to know about the iconic bridge:
1. The construction of the bridge began in 2004, but the work was stalled in 2008-09 over passenger safety concerns and due to the frequency of high-velocity winds in the Reasi region.
2. The bridge would be a connecting the crucial Katra-Banihal section of the Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Rail Line (USBRL) project.
3. The bridge would be five times higher than Delhi's Qutub Minar and 35 metres higher than the Eiffel tower.
4. After the completion of the bridge, the rail journey from Jammu to Srinagar will be completed in about 5 hours, which now takes about 11 hours by road.
5. The railway bridge would be 1,315 metres long and 359 metres above the river bed.
7. The bridge is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,250 crore.
8. The bridge will have a design life of 120 years and can withstand winds up to 260 kmph.
9. The bridge has been designed to run trains at a top speed of 100 kmph
10. Since the award of the contract in July 2004, four extensions have been sought and granted to the project. It is now slated to get completed by May 2019.
(With Inputs from agencies)