Imphal: The Indian Railways is constructing the world's tallest bridge pier in Manipur, a part of the 111 km long Jiribam-Imphal railway project.
The ambitious project in Manipur is part of the 111 km long Jiribam-Imphal railway line to connect the capital of Manipur with the broad gauge network of the country.
The bridge, built at a pier height of 141 metres, will surpass the existing record of 139 meters of Mala – Rijeka viaduct, Montenegro in Europe.
"With the completion of the project, the 111 km of distance will be covered in 2-2.5 hours. Presently, the distance between Jiribam-Imphal (NH-37) is 220 km, which took about 10-12 hours of travelling. After the construction, the bridge crossing Noney valley will become the world's highest pier bridge," Sandeep Sharma, Chief Engineer of the project, told ANI.
He further said that the work on the bridge would be completed by December 2023.
"The first phase which extends for 12 km has already been commissioned. nearly 98 per cent of the work is complete on the second phase and by February 2022, it will be ready. The third phase from Khongsang to Tupul will be completed by November 2022. The fourth and the last phase of the bridge which extends from Tupul to Imphal valley, will be completed by December 2023," he said.
The official also informed that the 111 km project consists of 61 per cent of tunnels.
According to the Chief Engineer, the total anticipated cost of the bridge is Rs 374 crore.
Speaking about the hurdles faced in the construction of the bridge, Sharma said, "Landslides often occur on NH-37 during monsoon, which is the only route to this place. From April to October, there is immense rainfall here. During that time, it is difficult to work here. There are also some problems related to insurgency, which creates a problem sometimes."