Country’s first cable-stayed bridge


Anew chapter was written in the hectic but challenging exercise of connecting Kashmir with train when in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district at Anji Khad, the cable -stayed bridge , the first of its kind in the country, where in respect of the work on its towers technically known as pylons, was completed. Generally, such bridges have one or more towers or pylons from which the cables support the bridge deck. We can safely call it a major breakthrough in the process of connecting Kashmir with the country through the railway network . Pylon construction, it is learnt, not only is a novel experience in India though it dates back to 16th century which came back with more applicability in 20th century , as compared to traditional suspension bridges, as it is the towers or the pylons which work as load bearing structures and being over the river bed at a height of 331 metres in the instant case and thus working as lifeline of a bridge of this type. The bridge is having such inbuilt designing and capacity so as to withstand natural furies like heavy wind storms , even explosions which are testimonies of the available highly technical and professional talent in the country itself. Needless to reiterate , this bridge bringing the valley nearer to the objective of railway connectivity , was really going to be the turning point in the massive economic development of Jammu and Kashmir , particularly that of Kashmir division. Just by visualising the peculiar topography and the difficult but enchanting mountainous terrains that separates Kashmir from rest of the country through a straight railway line and no possibilities of running railway tracks parallel to and on the roads network due to serpentine short and narrow curves , threat of frequent landslides and shooting stones ; innovative , top engineering and highly technical expertise have all together taken up the challenge to make it possible to put Kashmir on the railway canvas of the country just like any other Railway Station of the country connected to other places. Therefore, the Anji Khad bridge was going to be symbolic of addressing the topographic humps and hurdles in laying railway tracks to chug off and speed the trains on them. It may be recalled that the prestigious Udhampur-SrinagarBaramulla Rail Link which is under construction involving a whooping cost of nearly Rs.22000 crore had one of its critical constituents in the form of this particular bridge , the completion of work on its pylon, therefore, is undoubtedly a major milestone in the much hyped project. It will not be out of context to mention that in pursuit of making Kashmir division punctuated with rail network and connect Kashmir with rest of the country just like any other place of the country connected with rail, many records are being created. In other words, laying of railway tracks not only on most difficult and otherwise unimagined spots enroute Kashmir on the much important Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla 272 long railway line is demonstrative of the engineering marvel and dexterity available in the country but building of bridges which are unique in respective characteristics. In other words, thirty five meters higher than the world famous Eiffel Tower , the highest Railway Bridge in the world is being built over River Chenab in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir and likely to be all complete by the end of this year, which could be possible only on account of and for connecting Kashmir right up to Kanya Kumari in the country through rail . Added to it, is the cable-stayed Bridge , under reference, again an engineering feat , supported by pylon and by 96 cables, again with a distinction of being the country’s first