Jammu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday praised the completion of Anji Khad bridge - India’s first cable-stayed rail bridge, being constructed in Reasi as part of prestigious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) project.
The Prime Minister’s word of appreciation came after the Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that it was ready in eleven months.
Replying to a tweet by the Union Minister for Railways, the Prime Minister tweeted, “Excellent.”
Earlier, the Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw, while sharing a video of laying of cable strands, on his official Twitter handle had tweeted, “In 11 months, India’s first cable-stayed rail bridge is ready. All 96 cables set! #AnjiKhadBridge. PS: Total length of cable strands 653 km.”
Two days back, officials were quoted saying that being constructed over Anji Khad, connecting tunnel T2 on Katra side to tunnel T3 on Reasi side, this bridge would be completed in May this year.
The project is commissioned by the Northern Railways and is being executed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) and Hindustan Construction Company.
Cable strands were installed in a record period of 11 months from June 2022 to April 2023 despite constraints.
Officially speaking, the bridge over Anji river- a tributary of Chenab, being constructed at a cost of over Rs 400 crore, is designed with a total 96 cables – 48 cables each on lateral and central spans. “The cables totally weigh 848.7 metric tonnes with the total length of cable strands involved running into 653 km. 44 out of total 47 segments have been launched which require support of stay cables. Now, the balance three segments shall be launched without stay cables as per the design,” the officials had revealed.
The total length of the bridge is 725 metres, which includes a 473-metre-long asymmetric cable-stayed bridge, balanced on the axis of a central pylon at 193 metres height from the top of the foundation, standing at a height of 331 metres (nearly 77 storeys) above the river-bed.
On March 26 this year, the Union Minister for Railways during the maiden inspection of the world's highest rail (arch) bridge over mighty Chenab at Bakkal-Kauri in Reasi district had pointed out that Chenab bridge, Anji bridge and many tunnels were the major components of USBRL project. Their execution, confronting all odds and hostile situations on different accounts, would lead to the early completion of this project, aimed at connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country by train, he had said.
Spelling out its completion deadline, Vaishnaw had said that the strategically very significant and crucial USBRL project would be completed by this year’s end or by January or February 2024.
“After connecting with the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla train service, a specially built Vande Bharat train will be introduced in this rail section as per the vision and determination of the Prime Minister to connect all parts of India with 'Vande Bharat' and also end physical and psychological distance with J&K,” he had said.