Monday, May 23, 2011

BRO To Complete Basohli Bridge By September 2014



The Chairperson of National Advisory Council Smt Sonia Gandhi today laid the foundation stone of Jammu and Kashmir’s first cable-stayed bridge at Basohli in Kathua district. The bridge will usher in new technology in harmony with the beautiful surroundings; provide an impetus to development and tourism by connecting the states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, besides opening a new strategic route in the region.

Smt Gandhi reminisced that the project was the dream of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. She recalled that Rajiv Gandhi was to lay the foundation stone of this bridge in 1989 but the event could not take place due to the announcement of the elections.

The 592 metre bridge will be built by the Border Raods Organisation of the Ministry of Defence at a cost of Rs 145 Crores.

Scheduled to be constructed by September 2014, the bridge will open up avenues for commercial mining of materials like Gypsum and Lime stone.

Flanked by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister for New & Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah, the Chief Minister of J&K Shri Omar Abdullah, JKPCC Chief Saifuddin Soz, the Minister of State for Defence Dr MM Pallam Raju, the Defence Secretary Shri Pradeep Kumar and the Director General Border Roads Lt Gen Ravi Shankar Smt Gandhi broke an auspicious coconut to mark the beginning of work on the Project. The event was preceded by a brief multi-faith ceremony.

The Basohli bridge is going to be a technological marvel. It will be a cable-stayed bridge, similar to the Second Hoogly bridge at Kolkotta, Naini Bridge at Allahabad and the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link at Mumbai. The Basohli bridge will have a tower height of about 88 metres above deck level. The decking and the span regions will only be supported by cables. There will be 1.5 metre wide footpaths on both sides. The contract for the construction of the bridge has been awarded to M/S IRCON-SPS Construction Pvt Ltd.

Earlier, welcoming the distinguished guests at an elegant ceremony, the Director General Border Roads Lt Gen S Ravi Shankar said the organization had grown from two projects at its inception in 1960 to 18 projects at present. Having constructed more than 50,000 km of roads and 38,000 metres of bridges since its inception, the BRO continues to grow, both technology-wise as well as in size.

The foundation stone laying ceremony was followed by a public rally. Addressing an impressive gathering, Smt Gandhi said, once completed, the Basohli bridge will open a new chapter in the lives of the people of three states living on either side of River Ravi. She expressed confidence that the BRO would be able to complete the project on time.

Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony assured the gathering that the State of Jammu & Kashmir will continue to receive the ‘utmost and undivided priority’ in the development of infrastructure. ‘The development of infrastructure will ensure accelerated economic progress not only in the state of J&K, but also our nation’, he said.

Shri Antony disclosed that at present feasibility studies are being carried out for two more tunnels across Zozila and Z-Morh in J&K. These tunnels will be very crucial for providing all-weather connectivity to Kargil-Leh region from Srinagar.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Dr Farooq Abdullah, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Shri Omar Abdullah and Shri MM Pallam Raju.

DPR

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