New Pamban Bridge may miss its November deadline
According to railway officials, the new Pamban railway sea bridge, which would link Mandapam town on the mainland with Rameswaram on Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu, might not be finished by November. Since 2019, the bridge has been under construction.
Where is the Pamban Island located?
- The largest island in Tamil Nadu is Pamban Island, often referred to as Rameshwaram Island. It is about halfway between Sri Lanka and Peninsular India. The Pamban canal divides the island from the mainland.
- Rameshwaram is a well-known pilgrimage destination on Pamban Island. Hindus regard Rameshwaram as one of India’s holiest sites. To save his wife Sita from the demon ruler of Lanka, Ravana, Lord Rama is said to have constructed a stone bridge over the ocean.
- The Pamban Bridge connected India’s mainland to Pamban Island. British Railways began construction on the bridge in 1885, and it was finished in 1912 later got damaged beyond repair. With its sea waves and 145 concrete poles, it is vulnerable to storms.
About Pamban Bridge:
- Opening Date: The Pamban Bridge was inaugurated on February 24, 1914. At the time of its opening, it was India’s first sea bridge.
- Length and design: The railway bridge is made up of 143 piers and measures about 2,065 meters (6,776 feet) in length. At 12.5 meters (41 feet) above sea level, it is situated. The bridge has a double-leaf bascule section that may be raised to allow ships to pass through and has a Scherzer rolling-type lift span.
- Building: Work on the bridge started in August 1911 and was finished in 1914. During the British colonial era, it was constructed to improve trade and connectivity with Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
- Maintenance and Repairs: Because of the corrosive sea climate, cyclones, and general wear and tear, the bridge has required maintenance and repairs over the years. Under the direction of E. Sreedharan, significant repairs were made in 2009 to allow it to accommodate cargo trains.
- Parallel Road Bridge: A parallel road bridge, known as the Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge, was built alongside the rail bridge in 1988. Rameswaram Island and National Highway 49 are connected by this bridge.
Why was Pamban Bridge taken out of commission?
- India’s first sea bridge, the Pamban Bridge, has sustained two separate damages:
- More than 200 people perished when a train and its track were washed away in 1964 as a result of a storm surge brought on by a cyclone. Several of the bridge’s grids were also broken by the storm.
- A naval barge slid onto the bridge in 2013, resulting in minimal damage.
- Because of severe corrosion, the bridge is currently being rebuilt. By the end of March 2023, the Southern Railway and RVNL hope to have the new Pamban bridge finished.
When is the new Pamban Bridge going to open for the public?
A replacement for the existing Pamban Bridge, known as the New Pamban Bridge, is now being built. The existing bridge will be replaced with the new one, which is scheduled to open in 2023. The centre of the bridge can be raised to allow ships to pass through, making it the first vertical lift sea bridge in India. At an anticipated cost of 540 crore, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited is building the new bridge.