A rail bridge that will be higher than Eiffel tower

Over 750 out of 1,500 workforce involved in the bridge construction work are locals.

vishwas

Vishwas Dass | May 15, 2017 | Reasi


#Konkan Railway   #Reasi   #world record   #employment   #Kashmir   #bridge   #Chenab   #Indian Railways  
Illustration of the under construction bridge on Chenab River (Photo Courtesy: Indian Railways)
Illustration of the under construction bridge on Chenab River (Photo Courtesy: Indian Railways)

Three years ago Ashwani Kumar Sharma, who hails from Kauri block in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, was finding it difficult to run a family of five as he was unemployed. Little did he imagine that one day he would land a job with the Indian Railways as a civil supervisor. 

Employment has always been a major concern for people living in Reasi district which is around 25 km from Katra. Agriculture is the primary occupation of the people in this hilly region.
 


(The site where bridge is under construction. All Photos by: Vishwas Dass)



“I had lost all hopes of getting a job and whatever job I was doing, it was not enough to make ends meet. Despite having adequate education, it was hard to get a respectable job in Reasi which forced many people to leave J&K and work somewhere else in the country,” said Sharma.
 
Sharma came to know about the railways’ mega project -- a rail bridge construction over river Chenab. After meeting some construction engineers at the site, Sharma got a job and started working as civil supervisor. The remuneration was handsome.
 
Sharma told Governance Now that many locals have got the jobs here and railways’ mega project has brought prosperity to hundreds of families.
 
The world’s highest rail bridge of 359 metres height from the riverbed on Chenab river is being built by Indian Railways. It is 35 metres taller than the Eifel Tower in Paris. The bridge has been under construction since 2005.
 


 

The second and third highest railway arch bridges are Najiehe Railway bridge, having height of 310 metre at Liuchangxiang, Guizhou, China and Bejpan River Shuibai railway bridge of 275 metre height at Liupanshui, Guizhou, China respectively.
 
Sharma is not the only person who has benefited. Hundreds of locals have been gainfully employed.
 
Currently, the railways has got a manpower of over 1,500 to build this bridge, which includes 50 percent locals. An official said over 750 people are from nearby villages associated with private construction companies were roped in by railways.
Sajad Ahmed, a B Tech, also from Reasi district, said that he never thought he would get training opportunity in J&K.
He said that he has been working as a trainee for the past one month and has been assigned to look after engineering related works for a period of three months. Sajad may be offered a job once he completes his training here.
 
“Getting an engineering degree from a strife-torn state like J&K is itself a daunting task. I had always aspired to become an engineer and studied hard to earn a degree. As soon as I got a B Tech degree, I started searching for a job and training opportunity but could not succeed for a long time. Eventually, I applied in a private construction firm of the railways and secured a job as trainee,” he said.
 

He said that he wanted to become a role model for the youth to study hard and contribute to the nation’s progress. Sajad said that he was happy that the railways is pumping in investment to build Chenab rail bridge and create infrastructure.
 
He expressed hope that more youth will get jobs from the railways and get a chance to become a part of this project.
 
Bashir Ali, an experienced supervisor who hails from Arnas block of Reasi district, lauded railways for launching Chenab river project. “At a place where it is difficult to live and make ends meet, the government has come up with a project which will not only set a world record but also give massive employment to youths,” Ali said.
 
Ali, who had joined the project in 2005, had to move to Delhi after Chenab bridge work had to be halted for a while. He worked with Delhi metro as a supervisor and faced difficulties to run his family as the national capital is an expensive city.
 
After working for around six years in Delhi, Ali returned to his native place and resumed his job with Chenab bridge construction agency.
“I felt as a dream has come true after I resumed job in Reasi with the railways. It is indeed a matter of pride being associated with the railways,” Ali said.
 
Highlights of world’s tallest rail bridge
 
Konkan Railway Corporation Limited along with other private construction firms built over 200 km of roads in the inaccessible region to connect surrounding villages to bring construction material and connect locals with the project.
 

The bridge, whose design has been prepared by Finland and Germany based consultants, is 1.315 km-long and has a height of 359 metre which is 35 metre higher than the Eiffel Tower. It is being seen as an engineering marvel, said RR Mallick, deputy chief engineer of Konkan Railway.
 
The bridge connects Bakkal (Katra, Jammu) with Kauri (Srinagar) which forms the 111- km stretch between Katra and Banihal which is part of Udhampur-Srinagar- Baramulla section of the Kashmir railway project.
 
Interestingly, the world’s tallest rail bridge has been designed to withstand high level of trinitrotoluene (TNT) blasts for which the railways sought assistance from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), said Rajendra Kumar, project director, Konkan Railway.
A whopping Rs 1,200 crore would be spent and over 25,000 tonnes of steel would be used to build this mega rail bridge. The bridge construction work is likely to be over by 2019.
 
The railways has also got plans to develop this bridge as a tourist attraction destination. Officials said adventure sports activity like bungee jumping may be introduced, once it is completed.

Comments

 

Other News

Sustainable travel emerging as preferred choice: Report

An increasing number of people will prefer to rely on emerging and new technologies and travel in more sustainable ways, according to a global research study, Traveller Tribes 2033, has revealed.   The global survey is third in a series launched in 2007 and identifies four Traveller Trib

Budget creates the ground – now it’s time for these steps

On February 1, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Union Budget. As Dr. Rajiv Kumar, the Pahle India Foundation chairman and former NITI Aayog vice chairman, succinctly summed up, “Budget 2023 is a consolidation of the gains over the years, and a positive step towards sustained economic

Should India look for another capital?

The Indian Metropolis: Deconstructing India’s Urban Spaces By Feroze Varun Gandhi Rupa, 840 pages, Rs 1,500 Feroze Varun Gandhi, a Member of Parliament from the BJP, has been a published poet. He is also a policy expert – he had published &

Railways’ freight earnings up by 16%

On mission mode, Indian Railways` Freight loading for first ten months of this financial year 2022-23 has crossed last year’s loading and earnings for the same month. On cumulative basis from April 2022 to January 2023, freight loading of 1243.46 MT was achieved against last year&rsquo

BMC announces Rs 52,619.07 crore budget

Mumbai’s municipal commissioner and administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal on Saturday announced a Budget of Rs 52,619.07 crore for 2023-2024, an increase of 20.67% over a revised budget estimate of Rs 43607.10 crore for 2022-23. The overall budget size has doubled in five years. In 2017-18

Making sense of the ‘crisis of political representation’

Imprints of the Populist Time By Ranabir Samaddar Orient BlackSwan, 352 pages, Rs. 1105 The crisis of liberal democracy in the neoliberal world—marked by massive l

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter