Srinagar: Officials informed that the highest bridge in the world, being built on the Chenab river, in Jammu-Kashmir, will be completed by next year. This bridge will connect the Kashmir Valley to the rest of the country. Moreover, the deadline for completion of the All-Weather Road also has been set for the next year and the road will ensure all-year-round connectivity with Kashmir.
The work on the bridge across the Chenab river is in the final stages. The height of this bridge, taller than the Eiffel Tower, is 359 metres. This bridge can withstand winds up to the speeds of 256 Kilometres per hour. The bridge can also withstand earthquakes up to the intensity of 8, on the Richter scale. The bridge will be completed in the next year and the railway also will start in 2022. The work on the bridge has been expedited, since the last year.
Special efforts are being made to build a rail network in Jammu-Kashmir. Under this initiative, 25 Kilometres long Udhampur-Katara, 18 Kilometres long Banihal-Kazigund, and 118 Kilometres long Qazigund-Baramulla railway lines, have already been opened. Currently, work on the 111 Kilometres long Katara-Banihal line is being carried out. This route also will be opened by December 2022.
An investment of ₹800.68 billion was announced under the Prime Minister Development Package, in 2015, for various infrastructural works to be carried out in the state of Jammu-Kashmir. Last year, the special status awarded to Jammu-Kashmir was withdrawn, after the abrogation of article 370. This was followed by division of the state into two union territories Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh. After that, 54 infrastructure projects, with an investment of ₹586.27 billion went to the union territory of Jammu-Kashmir, and 9 projects with an investment of ₹214.41 billion went to the union territory of Ladakh.
There is a special focus on early completion of the ongoing rail and road projects, in Jammu-Kashmir. The rail and road infrastructure in Jammu-Kashmir is strategically very important. Recently, Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh dedicated, six bridged located at strategically important locations in Jammu-Kashmir, to the nation. BRO was assigned the work for building 17 bridges, at strategically important locations near the Indian borders and six projects have already been completed. The work on infrastructure projects here has been expedited and 7 projects had been completed in 2018. Whereas, 17 projects have been completed till July 2020.