India is working on a construction that will surpass the height of the Eiffel Tower but in a completely different way: a railway bridge that will become the highest in the world, measuring 29 meters more than the famous tower, making it the highest in the world.
The bridge is called the Chenab Bridge to honor the name of the river over which it crosses. The new construction is located in the Jammu region, in the Kashmir Valley, northern India. According to the Ministry of Railways, the construction is estimated to be ready by the end of December 2023 or early 2024.
According to CNN, the only land route so far connecting the parts of Kashmir controlled by India with the rest of the country is the winding 300-kilometer Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The road is often closed during winter and traffic accidents are not uncommon.
The Vande Metro trains will link the two cities of the state within a short span of 3 to 4 hours of journey time.Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s Minister for Railways
“We are getting lot of problems going across the road,” Anil Kumar Mehendru, vice president of the New Kashmir Fruit Association, told CNN. “Once we will be connected by train with the rest of India, it will be a big boost to this industry, agriculture as well as fruit.”
In addition to its 359-meter height, the bridge will be about 1,315 meters long and will make the Kashmir Valley accessible through the Indian railway network. This project will be part of Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) Project, which will also result in India’s longest transport tunnel.
Until now, the only possible route to Kashmir from the rest of the country was a 300-kilometer, winding road from Srinagar-Jammu. This route was closed in winter and was quite dangerous, with frequent road accidents.
India withdrew in 2019 a constitutional provision giving those areas of Kashmir the autonomy to set its own laws, as reported by CNN. The southern and eastern portions of the region up to that point as the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir became two separate union territories.
“The iconic Chenab Bridge is example of such new chapters and dimensions of development materialized by the inspiring leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister,” India’s Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a press release. “The bridge is stable enough to withstand earthquake to the extent of 8 Richter scale which Hon’ble Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted. The bridge is stable enough to have a life span of 120 years.”