Chenab River Rail-Bridge Is Designed For 120 Yrs: Ashwini Vaishnaw

JAMMU, Mar 26: Showering praises to the engineers, Union Railways Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday said that the Chenab River train bridge, which is the highest in the world, is designed for 120 years.
The minister, who was on a two days visit to Jammu and Kashmir, this morning inspected the bridge at Reasi district on the second leg of his tour after visiting Kashmir.
“The construction work on this bridge started somewhere around 2005-06 but when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over in 2014, he personally reviewed the project, which is very close to his heart and he desired the design of the bridge for more than 100 years,” Vaishnaw told reporters during a press conference after inspecting the bridge in Reasi district.
The rail minister said, “taking all ifs and buts in mind, the bridge is made in such a way that it is designed for 120 years, which is a big achievement for the entire country. The nation must be proud of our engineers, who transformed the dream into a reality,”
There were several engineering challenges, said the minister adding, “but the most important was ‘will power’ of the leadership. The ‘will power’ of the leadership matters a lot especially when the PM Modi took the project in his hands with timely reviews, monitoring, discussions that made us more encouraged and determined to accomplish the target. Leadership really makes a difference.”
The minister said that among others, foundation design was also one of the major challenges in this project, secondly was construction of tunnels in the young mountains of Himalayas.
“Own method ‘Himalayan Tunnelling Method’ (HTM) was adopted by our engineers to build tunnels in the Himalayas for which special technology was used. Moreover, the issues of gases in the mountains at the time of tunnelling, was also taken under consideration to prevent fire incidents,” said the Minister.
Stating that the duration from Jammu to Kashmir will be reduced to 3 to 4 hours after the start of the connectivity, Vaishnaw said, “Vande Metro trains from Jammu to Srinagar and vice versa will also start very soon that will actually and practically convert both the cities into one.”
Many rail projects into the Himalayan region are under progress and few are coming up, the Minister said that four PM Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals are also coming up in the Kashmir valley (between Banihal to Baramulla) for transportation of Kashmiri items to the rest of the country.
“I met the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and discussed the land for Cargo terminals. Land for three is already identified and for the remaining one, the process is in progress,” he revealed further adding that Cargo Terminals will be of great help in transporting (Import-Export) the goods in a shorter time and at cheaper transportation cost.
The minister replied to a query that hopefully by December 2023 or by January 2024, Kashmir will be connected to Kolkata as well.
On challenges in the North East, he said, “with challenges viewpoint related to topography, we face some similar challenges but after the completion of this project, the challenges faced in this projects and the lessons learnt can be shared in the North East projects and the similar can be implemented in this region from the eastern parts of the country.”
Replying to a query with regard to Jammu-Poonch Rail Link and making Jammu Railway Station a Division, the minister said, “it is a very difficult terrain but very soon new projects will be undertaken. And, special arrangements will also be made and other technicalities will be looked into for converting Jammu into a Division.”
Vaishnaw also said that with tourism, three spots have been identified from where the bridge is visible and they will be developed as tourist destinations to tap the potential of the region.
He however, on water effects to the nearby villages with the project said, “it is an important aspect and is taken into consideration while a team of WAPCOS (Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited), team is already having a detailed scientific study.”
The minister lauded the team of engineers and desired that the HTM papers be published in journals and the technicalities be adopted worldwide. He concluded his media interaction with “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” chants.