By H. C. Kunwar
Deputy Director (Media & Communication), Ministry of Railways, Govt. of India
Construction in full swing at the Chenab River bridge site in Jammu and Kashmir, India
New Delhi, July 12, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) The world’s tallest rail bridge over Chenab River in Jammu & Kashmir’s Reasi district being constructed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Railways, is likely to be ready by 2016. This bridge will be on the Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project which is a national project to provide rail connectivity to the beautiful valley of Kashmir. Konkan Railway has taken up the construction of part of USBRL project from Katra to Dharam in December 2002. Chenab Bridge, perhaps the most challenging project, is to be built at the height of 359 metres (height of Qutab Minar is 72 metres and of Eiffel Tower is 324 metres). Chenab Bridge is having the central span of 457 metres. When constructed this bridge will quality for world record for being the tallest rail bridge from the river bed. Currently the world’s tallest rail bridge is located over France’s Tam River with its tallest pillar rising 340 metres, with the actual height where the train runs on the bridge being 300 metres. The design of bridge also takes care of blast load, which is internationally an unique feature. The painting scheme for this bridge is designed for 35 years of service life so that during service life of 120 years, only 3 times repainting will have to be done.
Chenab River, Jammu and Kashmir, India
For construction of Arch portion of the bridge over the river, a novel method of construction using the cable car is designed and under construction. This cable car runs on 54mm cables laid across the river valley and connected through 127 metre high pylons (towers) on either side of river. The consumption of structural steel for this project is very huge. The construction of Chenab Bridge will comprises of earthwork in excavation for construction of foundations, over 46,000cum of concreting, 3600 tonnes of reinforcement steel and 25,000 tonnes of structural steel (an equivalent to volume of a 54 story building on a football ground size plot). Fabrication of the steel structures involves very high degree of precision and quality wielding using latest wielding technologies.