New Delhi: By December 2021, Kashmir will be connected to the rest of India through railway network as the government has set a fresh deadline of the much-awaited and one of the most complicated rail projects.

“It is the most challenging task in the 150-year-long history of the railways. The highest railway bridge in the world, connecting Kashmir with rest of country through rail line will be completed by December 2021,” Konkan Railway Chairman Sanjay Gupta said.

A special bridge across the river Chenab is being built at a height of 359 metres, from the bed level. (Height of Qutab Minar is 72 metres and of Eiffel Tower is 324 metres)

Designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 260 km per hour, the 1.315-km-long “engineering marvel” will connect Bakkal (Katra) and Kauri (Srinagar). It will be a part of the Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) Project.

A part of this project from Katra – Dharam has been assigned to Konkan Railway Corporation. It comprises 46.1km (86%) of the route in tunnels, 5 km (9%) of the route on bridges and balance 5% of route in cuttings and embankments. Konkan Railway had made 152km of roads including road tunnels and many temporary Bailey bridges.