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Manipur CM inspects rail bridge project
SOBHAPATI SAMOM

World’s tallest rail bridge which is part of the 111 km long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal rail line under construction at Lukhambi and Noney area in Manipur, on Thursday. – Correspondent
 NONEY (MANIPUR), Oct 12 - Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh led a ministerial team on Thursday to inspect the construction of world’s tallest railway bridge at Lukhambi area, under newly-created Noney district.The Chief Minister lauded the efforts of the Railways for their effort to complete the tallest girder rail bridge which will have seven tall pillars.

Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar, Agriculture Minister V Hangkhalian, PHE Minister L Dikho, Forest Minister Shyamkumar, Sports Minister Letpao Haokip and officials accompanied the CM during the inspection which was organised on the sideline of foundation laying for the construction of Barak bridge on Imphal-Jiri sector of NH 37.

The 141 metre bridge is slated to become the tallest bridge in the world with its pillar height surpassing the tallest one of Mala-Rijeka viaduct on Belgrade-Bar railway line in Europe where the height of pillars is 139 metres, according to Railway officials.

The anticipated cost of the bridge is Rs 280 crore. It will consume 5.1 lakh cement bags, 75,000 quintals of structural steel, 60,000 quintals of reinforced steel and 22,000 mild steel plates.

The bridge is part of the 111 km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway line which passes through steep rolling hills to connect the capital of Manipur with the broad gauge network of the country.

Interestingly, the alignment of rail line will traverse through not only a number of deep gorges but also over several rivers flowing at low ground levels as Jiribam, situated at 37 metres above mean sea level (MSL) while Imphal is situated at 780 metres above MSL.

As a result, the authority is constructing 46 tunnels measuring a total 54.5 km in length and tall bridges in order to maintain a suitable gradient for efficient operation of the railway. The longest tunnel will be of 4.9 km between Jiribam-Tupul and 10.75 km between Tupul-Imphal sections.The entire Manipur project is targeted to be completed by 2019.

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