New Delhi: Considered as world’s highest rail link, the Chenab Bridge which will connect Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country by rail route, is designed to withstand 40 kg of TNT blast and earthquake of magnitude eight on Richter Scale. This has been said by Konkan Railway’s top engineer.

Being built under the direct supervision of the PMO and Railway Board, the Chenab Bridge is likely to be completed by December 2021, Chief Engineer (Coordination) RK Hegde of Konkan Railways said.

With 100 per cent central funding, the bridge is being built on the Chenab River between Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Around 359 metres above the river and 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower, the Chenab Bridge will boast of having the world’s highest rail bridge.

The 111 km-stretch bridge forms a crucial link between Katra and Banihal, which is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.

“So far, 83 per cent of the work has been completed. For the overall completion of the Chenab bridge project, the deadline is December 2021,” Hedge said.

He further stated that the bridge surpasses the record of Shuibai Railway Bridge (275m-high) on Beipan river in China.

The construction of the bridge was halted in 2008 in wake of concerns over its safety and alignment, but it was again restarted in 2010. However, the bridge has missed many deadlines in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Hegde further added that the bridge can withstand high-intensity blasts of up to 40 kgs of TNT and an earthquake of magnitude 8 on Richter Scale. “Even after the blast, a train can run at a speed on 30 kmhp,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)