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Kashmiris happy to get cable-stayed bridge in Basholi

Basholi (J-K) , Mon, 23 May 2011 ANI

Basholi (J-K), May 23 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir is all set to get its first cable-stayed bridge over river Ravi to link the state with Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.


Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju, who arrived here on Sunday to review the preparations for the foundation laying ceremony, said: "It is a matter of pride and happiness that the Basholi Bridge would be constructed which has been a long wish of the locals."


Congress President Sonia Gandhi would lay the foundation stone for the project today.


Along with Gandhi, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, would be attending the foundation ceremony.


Locals too are elated with the construction of the bridge. They said their long cherished dream has come true.


"For us, the people of Basholi and also nearby areas such as Bani, Bhaderwah, it's a dream come true. We would get several advantages from the bridge. It's been our demand for long and finally it is happening," said Zakir Hussain.


Basholi Bridge is being touted as the next technological marvel and it would be cable-stayed, similar on the lines of the second Hoogly bridge in Kolkata, Naini Bridge in Allahabad and the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link in Mumbai.


The bridge would have a tower height of about 88 metres above deck level. Cables would only support the decking and the span regions. There will be 1.5 metre wide footpaths on both sides.


The bridge would also open up new avenues for development and tourism in Kathua and Doda districts along Ranjit Sagar Dam.


The 592-metre bridge is to be built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) of the Ministry of Defence at a cost of Rs 145 Crores.


It will also open up an alternative route to National Highway 1A and to the Kashmir Valley via Basholi, Bani, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Chhatroo and Anantnag and boost development of these areas with better connectivity.


The bridge is scheduled to be constructed by September 2014, and expected to open up avenues for commercial mining of materials like Gypsum and Limestone. (ANI)


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