India's longest rail bridge nearing completion at Kochi

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Kochi, Oct 9 (ANI): The Indian Railways is set to make a record of building the longest railway bridge in the shortest period at Kochi.

Crossing through an island and backwaters of Vembanad Lake, the 4.62 kilometre bridge will be named Vallarpadam Bridge and will be dedicated to nation in November this year.

At present, the 3.06 kilometre long bridge is named Nehru Setu Bridge on the river Sone in Bihar. It is also a part of the railway link being built for Vallarpadam International Container Trans-shipment Terminal.

Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, a PSU under the Indian Railways, is executing the bridge construction work.

G Kesava Chandran, Deputy General Manager, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd, said that the railways have not built a bridge of such magnitude earlier. But to reduce the land acquisition in thickly populated area, they had to come up with this plan.

"We never expected this to be the longest bridge. But depending on the alignment and reducing the land acquisition, we came up with this idea. This bridge was proposed to be built from this point to Vallarpadam because in between we will be crossing three islands where one cannot go down and come up again. So, the bridge started from here and accidentally became the longest bridge," said Chandran.

He asserted that the work has been finished in time because of the launching girders machine brought from China.

The total cost of the project, including the railway station and goods yard, is about 300 crore rupees, which is entirely funded by the Central Government.

It took more than one and half years to complete the bridge, which commenced in May 2007 and after the final work of laying rails it will be completed by November 2009. (ANI)

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