BY DEBASHREE CHAKRABORTY
CHENNAI , 30 OCTOBER 2022
The Union Ministry of Railway posted on twitter on progress of work along with breathtaking aerial pictures of the country’s first vertical lift railway bridge – Pamban Bridge connecting the mainland of India and Rameswaram island is likely to be inaugurated in early next year is all set to further boost the tourism in the region.
“81 percent of work completed, piling work –all 333 piles completed, pile cap and sub structure – all 101 completed, 76 out of 99 girders launched,” the job update in the twitter said. The final construction work is going on in full swing as the deadlines approach fast in Pamban ( a fishing village) in Rameswaram island in Tamil Nadu.
Though the Indian railways has not announced any dates yet for completion of the project, it is learnt that from January 2023 it will be opened .
Mr. B.G.Mallya, General Manager of Southern Railway said, “The old Pamban bridge was commissioned on February 24, 1914. So, almost 108 years passed, and now the time has come to move ahead with modern technologies. The estimated cost of the new bridge is ₹250 crore and the target is to complete by December 2022 .”
The GM further added that surrounded by the pristine water of the Bay of Bengal it will be a showcase project of entire Indian railways. The century old bridge has corroded and has speed restrictions, he said.
A 63-meter section of the bridge’s more than 2 KM-long lengths will lift up while still being parallel to the deck to give access to the ships. The bridge is 6,776 feet (2,065 m) long and 12.5 metres above sea level. Two ships and steamers will be able to cross this bridge simultaneously due to the planned automobile construction.
The Pamban Bridge will help the Indian Railways to operate at a higher speed , carry more weight and increase the volume of traffic between Pamban and Rameswaram. In construction of the new bridge new technologies like stainless steel reinforcement, composite sleeper and a long-life painting system have been introduced.
ABOUT OLD PAMBAN BRIDGE:
Pamban Bridge is a railway bridge that connects the town of Mandapam in mainland India with Rameswaram on Pamban Island. Opened on 24 February 1914, it was India’s first sea bridge, and was the longest sea bridge in India until the opening of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in 2010. The rail bridge is, for the most part, a conventional bridge resting on concrete piers, but has a double-leaf bascule section midway, which can be raised to let ships and barges pass through. Until 1988, the Pamban bridge was the only surface transport that connected Tamil Nadu’s island of Rameswaram to the mainland. In December 2018, the bascule of this bridge was damaged, which suspended transportation on the bridge for 3 months. Rail movement was again restored on 27 February 2019.
PAMBAN BRIDGE IN CELLULOID:
The old Pamban bridge has been immortalised in celluloid in two movies –
· The national award winning Tamil movie Kannathil Muthamittal (2002) was filmed at the Pamban Bridge.
· Parts of the Bollywood movie Chennai Express (2013) starring Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone were filmed at the Pamban Bridge.
This state of the art Pamban Bridge is all set to boost tourism in the state once opened both for domestic and foreign tourists. Tamil Nadu attracts the most foreign tourists amongst all the states in India.
India's 1st vertical lift Railway Sea Bridge- Pamban Bridge connecting the mainland of India with Rameswaram Island.
• 81% work completed
• Piling Work: All 333 piles completed
• Pile cap & Sub-Structure: All 101 completed
• 76 out of 99 girders launched pic.twitter.com/rJs3KG1SWd
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) October 25, 2022