Railways to realign bridge over Yamuna

Railways to realign bridge over Yamuna

Salimgarh Fort will not be touched now

After years of deliberations, the railways have decided to realign the under-construction rail bridge, which is located parallel to the 140-year-old rail-cum-road bridge over the Yamuna.

The new rail bridge is located parallel to the 140-year-old rail-cum-road bridge over the Yamuna.

Work on the new bridge had come to a standstill in 2006 when the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) raised objections to the original plan of taking it directly into the historical Salimgarh Fort.
ASI was of the view that the project would dismantle a portion of the fort.

“The cultural impact assessment report clearly stated that the wall of the fort cannot be touched. So a new route map was sent to the National Monuments Authority (NMA) for final clearance,” said Y S Rajput, senior public relations officer, Delhi division.

The construction of the bridge will restart immediately once the new proposal is approved, he added.

The cultural impact assessment was conducted by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. It also suggested realigning of the new bridge outside the fort to prevent dismantling a portion of the fort’s wall.

The railways have repeatedly cautioned that the old bridge needs immediate replacement. But the issue remained only on paper for years.

“Though railway officials involved in the project sent the report along with the realignment proposal to higher authorities in November last year, it was forwarded to the NMA for clearance last Saturday,” said a railway official who does not want to be named.

Nine of the 14 pillars of the bridge, which is at a distance of 30 metres from the original bridge, are already complete. “The rest of the pillars will be realigned at such an angle that the bridge would turn away from the fort’s wall,” the official added.

The old rail-cum-road bridge, a vital link connecting Old Delhi railway station with the eastern parts of the country, is used daily by at least 100 passenger trains and an equal number of goods trains.

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