On the 2nd of May, Portugal marked a historic event with the official opening of their new bridge the “Arouca 516” and while we congratulate them on their momentous suspension bridge with a span of 516 metres, Arouca’s still seems to have fallen 51 metres short compared to the Baglung Parbat Footbridge located here, in Nepal.
The Baglung Parbat Footbridge, located 280 km west to Kathmandu, has a notable height of 122 metres and hangs beautifully above the Kaligandaki river. This footbridge claims to have the capacity of carrying a load of 612 individuals at the same time which is quite commendable. While the Arouca 516 is constructed of beautiful see through metal grids the Baglung Parbat Footbridge boasts of being one of the prettiest footbridges to exist with 300 lights installed which pierces through the night sky showing off a fascinating curvature.
It is thoroughly remarkable how a suspension bridge had such a consequential impact on the overall lifestyle of the district itself. While being of great help to the local inhabitants who have been presented with a much easier path it was before the pandemic an equal booster for tourism and hospitality in Baglung and Parbat. It made both local and international tourism significantly comfortable as visitors would visit the footbridge simply to adore its beauty in the night sky if not to travel via the 567 metres long footbridge. However, the inauguration of the footbridge is yet to be completed as it was delayed due to the pandemic.
The suspension footbridge however came with a memorable price tag of its own. Sagar Ram Nepal who is the engineer of the contract management branch of the suspension claims for the footbridge to own a price tag of NPR 92.5 million. The bridge has even already been registered to be recorded at the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the Guinness Book of World Records. Although the Statistics department is yet to verify the statistics of the suspension bridge it would be quite a memorable effort made by the government.
While the confusion regarding the title for the longest pedestrian suspension bridge is understandable it has been brought into attention that it was due to Baglung Parbat being considered as a “simple suspension bridge” and Arouca 516 being considered to be a “modern suspension bridge”. This however does not seem viable or sufficient to cover up for the missing 51 metres. The inauguration of the Arouca 516 sent waves of commemoration and attention throughout the world as it deserves for the artistic build; it is still our global responsibility to acknowledge the efforts made by Nepal. At the end of the day both the Arouca 516 and the Baglung Parbat Footbridge stand out in their own unique ways and deserve equal recognition and applause.