• The Northeast Frontier Railway stated that it is constructing the world’s tallest girder railway bridge of the world in Manipur. This is from the point of view of pillar height.
• Under construction across the valley of river Ijai near Noney with a pier height of 141 meters (462.598 feet).
• It will “surpass the existing record of 139 meters of the Mala-Rijeka Viaduct in Montenegro in Europe,” said NFR Senior Public Relations Officer, in a statement.
• The bridge is being constructed as part of the new 111-km long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal broad gauge line project. This will connect Manipur with the rest of the country.
• The pillars of the bridge have already been built. Named ‘Bridge No 164’ by the Indian Railways, it will be 703 meters in length. “The piers of the bridge are constructed using hydraulic augers. The tall piers needed specially designed ‘slip-form technique’ to ensure efficient and continual construction,” Mr Ojah added in the press release.
• The steel girders for the bridge are pre-fabricated in a workshop, transported in segments and erected at the site by the Cantilever launching scheme. The safety and speedy conveyance of construction material and men to the top is ensured with self-erecting electric lifts at each pier.
• The project will have over 45 tunnels, the longest of these will be Tunnel No. 12 with a length of 10.280 km.
• This will also be the longest railway tunnel in the North East. According to a September 2018 Financial Express report, three IITs of the country including Kanpur, Roorkee and Guwahati are also associated with this project for technical support and proof-checking of designs to ensure that the bridge is cost-efficient and sustainable.
• The Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal project was taken up in the year 2008 at the cost of Rs 13,809 crore.
• The 111 km long Jiribam-Imphal railway line passes through steep rolling hills of the Patkai region, passing through a number of deep gorges and crossing over several rivers flowing at low ground levels.
• Since its declaration as a national project, construction has picked up momentum in the last three years.
Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.
Prelims level: Noney Bridge and its details
Mains level: Development projects in the NE