Basohli (J-K), May 23 (ANI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday laid the foundation stone of Jammu and Kashmir's first cable-stayed bridge at Basholi on the river Ravi, which will be constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
After laying the foundation stone, Sonia Gandhi recalled that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was to lay the foundation stone of this bridge in 1989, but the event got postponed due to the announcement of the polls.
"The construction of the bridge would open one more way to the Kashmir Valley from Punjab. It would usher in prosperity and growth all along the road from Basholi to Anantnag, via Bani, Bhaderwah, Doda and Kishtwar," Gandhi said.
"I have been told that it will take three years to complete this bridge. I am confident that BRO will complete it in time," she added
Defence Minister AK Antony, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, and Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju attended the ceremony.
Basholi Bridge is considered a technological marvel, and would be constructed on the lines of the Hoogly bridge in Kolkata, the Naini Bridge in Allahabad and the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link in Mumbai.
The bridge will have a 88 metre high tower, with cables supporting the span regions. There will be 1.5 metre wide footpaths on both sides.
The bridge would also promote tourism in Kathua and Doda districts along Ranjit Sagar Dam.
The 592-metre bridge is to be built by the Border Roads Organisation 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. It would boost development of these areas. .
The bridge is scheduled to be completed by September 2014. By Amit Shankar (ANI)