Reservations on Chenab Rail Bridge, Puts Question Mark on ‘National Project’

KL Desk

SRINAGAR

Putting a question mark on the Kashmir rail link an expert committee has expressed reservations on the safety and stability of a proposed bridge on river Chenab. The bridge is inevitable to complete the Kashmir rail link.

Official sources said that the committee headed by E Sreedharan submitted its report to railway minister Suresh Prabhu recently.

According to reports the committee has unanimously said “it is not possible to sanction it across the Himalayan barrier from Katra to Banihal leading to Kashmir.”

The committee has cited eight reasons regarding the 359-metre high bridge’s “inadequate” safety factor.

It has raised many dangers posed to the mega-arch bridge by earthquakes, landslides and the proximity to the line of control (LoC).

Official sources said that if this bridge is damaged, its restoration will take a minimum of five to six years and this concern has alarmed the railway ministry.

If the Committee report is believed the link to Kashmir Valley may remain disrupted for years together.

Pertinently, the then Prime Minister Atul Bihari Vajpayee had termed the Kashmir rail link as a “national project”.

The absence of the mega-arch is a major reason why the Katra-Banihal section, is nowhere near completion even after Rs 4,000 crore has so far been spent. (Inputs from TOI)

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