New Pamban bridge to come up in two years

Prime Minister lays foundation

March 02, 2019 01:11 am | Updated 01:11 am IST - Ramanathapuram

RAMANATHAPURAM, TAMIL NADU, 19/04/2018: Madurai -Rameswaram passenger train proceeding towards Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu stranded near Pamban bridge for about 45 minutes after engine failure on April 19, 2018 after  train left for Rameswaram the fault was rectified.
Photo: L.Balachandar

RAMANATHAPURAM, TAMIL NADU, 19/04/2018: Madurai -Rameswaram passenger train proceeding towards Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu stranded near Pamban bridge for about 45 minutes after engine failure on April 19, 2018 after train left for Rameswaram the fault was rectified. Photo: L.Balachandar

The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) will complete the construction of a new Pamban Rail Bridge in two years. Tenders will be opened on March 21.

The foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video-conferencing from Kanniyakumari on Friday.

After the Indian Railways entrusted the task of constructing the 2.05-km-long ‘New Bridge Pamban Viaduct’ with RVNL, which carries out engineering works for the railways, it floated tenders on January 2 and fixed March 21 as the date for opening tenders, officials said.

The new bridge, parallel to the existing, century-old cantilever bridge, will be built at a cost of ₹248 crore with vertical single lift span (truss type girder) and other spans (deck type girder). Pile foundations for the double track will form the superstructure, officials said.

Inspecting the site two weeks ago, B. Kamalakara Reddy, Chief Project Manager (Coordination), RVNL, Chennai, said construction would begin after awarding tenders later this month.

The new bridge, connecting the pilgrim island of Rameswaram with the mainland, would be located 30 metres away towards the north and at an elevation of three metres to the existing bridge.

Navigation of vessels

Mr. Reddy said the new bridge would have a 70-metre-long vertical lift steel span to allow navigation of vessels in the Pamban channel.

The Prime Minister also laid the foundation for the ‘Restoration of rail connectivity between Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi’ project, bringing ‘Ram Setu’ into the railway map.

The line was damaged during a cyclone in 1964, and even over 50 years on, no attempt had been made to restore it, Mr. Modi said while addressing a rally. “The project was delayed but not denied. Thanks to the proposed rail connectivity, the once flourishing town is all set to regain its lost glory.”

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