KL NEWS NETWORK
With the completion of Cable Stayed Bridge over River Ravi in Basholi, the connectivity to the State of Jammu and Kashmir is going to get a major boost. The work on the maiden Cable Stayed Bridge of the state was started in September 2010 on the persistent demand of people of Basohli where over 22 villages got submerged in water and were evacuated to other places after the construction of Ranjit Sagar dam.
The 592 meter span bridge is being constructed by Border Roads Organization (BRO) involving a cost of Rs. 145 Crore. It is a joint venture of IRCON a Railway Company and SP Singla Construction group. Out of 592 Span bridge 350 meter span is Cable Stayed while rest is plain bridge.
The peculiarity of this bridge is that the main span and back span are balanced by cable and this bridge has been designed by Canadian Company, Infinity Engineers. IIT New Delhi had approved the design of this bridge. Nearly 300 ton specially designed cables are needed for this bridge, which are being procured from Japan and Spain.
The span layout is symmetric (121m – 350m -121m), with pylons positioned at the top of the river banks .Two inclined cable planes splay outwards from each pylon in a semi-fan configuration, connecting to the superstructure at 14- meter spacing in the main span and 10.3 meters in the side spans. Near the abutments, three sets of intermediate piers spaced at just over 20 meters form a secondary support system. When complete, the bridge will accommodate two lanes of traffic as well as two footpaths.
A typical cable stayed bridge is a deck with one or two pylons erected above the piers in the middle of the span. The cables are attached diagonally to the girder to provide additional supports. The pylons form the primary load-bearing structure in these types of bridges. Large amounts of compression forces are transferred from the deck to the cables to the pylons and into the foundation. Cable stayed-bridges have a low centre of gravity, which makes them efficient in resisting earthquakes. Cable stayed bridges provide outstanding architectural appearance due to their small diameter cables and unique overhead structure.
The bridge will act as a life line for the people of Basohli and Bani tehsils and it will shorten their distance of travel to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to a great extent. This bridge will also open the flood-gate for the tourists to the picturesque areas of Basohli, Bani, Sarthal and Bhaderwah from Dalhousie and Chamba sides. As of now, there is no direct route from Basholi to Pathankote and the only route available is via Ranjit Sagar Dam, Riyalta and Lakhanpur area with a route distance of 72 km. Once the Ravi Bridge is constructed and operational, the total route distance will be reduced to 46 km. The new bridge will not only reduce the distance by as much as 26 km, but also result in reduction of travel time between the two places.
It will prove to be a tremendous boost to the socio-economic development of the region, in terms of an increase in tourism and commercial activities and by virtue of the reduced distances to other important places in the region like Dalhousie and Chamba.
However, the construction of bridge will only serve the purpose after the double lanning of road from Basohli to Mahanpur is undertaken in hand which is presently a single lane road and some portion of which is also in dilapidated condition.
The people of Basohli are demanding a double lane road to augment the inter-state connectivity linking Basohli and Bani with Bhadarwah from one side and Basohli and Billawar with Udhampur and Kashmir Valley on other side.
With the construction of this bridge, it will help in promotion of tourism in the area as a large number of tourists visiting picnic spot of Dalhousie and other sightseeing places in neighboring Himachal Pradesh can also visit the Ranjit Sagar Dam at Basohli provided it is being developed as a tourist spot. Moreover, it will also help in boosting pilgrimage tourism and other tourists to sightseeing places in Basohli, Bani and Billawar tehsils.
After construction of this bridge, a long pending demand of the people of Basohli and Bani has been fulfilled. This bridge is strategically important from defense point of view also and first of its kind in North India and also having 2nd longest span in India.
Basohli and Bani tehsils of district Kathua are famous for the beauty bestowed by the bountiful nature. With the completion of cable stayed bridge over river Ravi Basohli, which is the confluence of three states, will not only become the gate way of Jammu and Kashmir but will be known as the first tourist place on the threshold of Jammu and Kashmir with a number of other beautiful and exciting tourists spots en route Basohli, Bani, Bhaderwah road which have remained un noticed and largely unexplored. On crossing the Ravi Bridge, one will find himself in a quite different world.
The vast stretch of 88 sq KMS Ranjeetsagar lake below, the picturesque Basohli town surrounded by the Shivaliks, the old world known palaces, the fort shrine of Mata Chanchlo Devi, Sunan Ghat, the cool spot at the lower altitude, Dhar Mahanpur, Jaurian Mata shrine and the endless chain of many more places have remained hidden to the tourists and have never been brought in the lime light due to poor road connectivity.
It will be fourth bridge of its kind in the country after Worli in Mumbai, Hawra in Kolkatta and Nagpur in Maharashtra. It was the most challenging task before the BRO engineers to accomplish this task. Not only the Indian engineers and consultants, the agencies from Canada, Japan, Spain and Switzerland have also been engaged for the completion of this prestigious project by the BRO authorities.
Described as an engineering marvel in this part of the country, the foundation stone of this important bridge was laid in May 2010. The work on the project was commenced in September 2010.