Indian Railways has completed over 50% work on the Anji Khad Bridge under the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project. The Union Ministry of Railways posted several pictures of the under-construction bridge while sharing the progress report on Twitter.
“Overcoming the daunting geographical conditions, the construction is going on in full swing,” the ministry said in the tweet.
The Anji Khad Bridge, connecting Katra and Reasi, has been dubbed as an engineering marvel. The link, India’s first-ever cable-stayed rail bridge, will be a breakthrough in connecting Kashmir with the rest of India by train within the next two years.
The USBRL project is one of Indian Railways’ most challenging projects and includes construction of the world’s highest railway bridge over the Chenab river. The 1,315-m arch bridge will have a capacity to bear earthquakes of the highest intensity and withstand wind speeds up to 266 km/hour.
The Anji Khad Bridge forms the second leg of the project and is being built 7 km south of the Chenab Bridge.
Once completed, the bridge over the Anji river will rise 331 m above the riverbed, surpassing the iconic Eiffel Tower in height. The bridge will be 473.25 m long and supported by 96 cables.
According to the official website of the project, the work has been divided into: Udhampur to Katra (25 km), Katra to Banihal (111 km), Banihal to Quazigund (18 km), and Quazigund to Baramulla (118 km).
The website said: “This project is, perhaps, the most difficult new railway line project undertaken on the Indian subcontinent. The terrain passes through the young Himalayas, which are full of geological surprises and numerous problems.”
Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw also shared an update on the construction of the Anji Khad Bridge. “A future-ready India. Nation’s first cable-stayed rail bridge, Anji Khad bridge connecting Kashmir,” Vaishnaw tweeted.
The USBRL project was estimated to cost Rs 27,949 crore.