A ‘bhoomi puja’ was performed on Friday to mark the inauguration of the construction work on a new railway bridge, to be built over the sea connecting Pamban and Rameswaram, by the Railway Vikas Nigam Limited, a public sector unit.
The foundation stone for the new bridge was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kanniyakumari in March this year to replace the 104-year-old existing bridge during a public meeting where he dedicated several highway and railway projects.
According to officials, the new bridge would be constructed at a distance of 50 metre away from the existing bridge which would have 99 pillars with 101 girders, each having 12 metre width.
Each pillar would be erected at an equal distance of 20 metre . While the new bridge would have a vertical lift in 70-metre length to open and close the middle portion to allow passage of ships and steamers. And the Scherzer span in the proposed facility would have electro-mechanical-controlled systems which will be interlocked with train control systems while the existing bridge is operated manually to allow ships.
The new bridge would have CCTV cameras, censors and other safety measures. This apart, it would help the railways operate trains at higher speed, carry more freight and increase the volume of traffic between the mainland Pamban and Rameswaram, thronged by devotees from across the country.
The Southern Railways operates trains from Rameswaram to various parts of the country.
Arrangements have been made to carry on the construction work even during the rainy season, the officials said. All equipment required for the work have been brought to nearby Pamban, according to them.
Railway Vikas Nigam Limited Project Manager Krishnamurthy, Technical Advisers Anbalagan, Rajendran and Balamurugan, Gujarat-based Ranjit Builders Managing Director Mahesh Patel and others were present during the bhoomi Puja.