Indian Railways commissioned longest railway bridge over Bhima river: All you need to know
On 30 July, 2020, the Indian Railway commissioned the longest bridge over the Bhima river that connects Karnataka with Maharashtra through Bijapur and Sholapur districts.
The development of Lachyan-Hotgi section which is 33 km long is commissioned by the Indian Railway, as part of the doubling project from Hotgi-Kudgi-Gadag (284 km).
The track passes via 670 m long bridge over river Bhima and is the longest bridge within the zone encompassing 14 spans of about 45.7 m each. Therefore, it is considered as one of the most important developments of the route.
Let us tell you that during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown turned into an opportunity for the Indian Railways and cleared the backlog of 200 projects of critical importance in key sections during the time framework as stated.
In the lockdown period, Indian Railways got a chance to complete 200 projects. As per the Railway Ministry, "for several years these projects were pending and sometimes presented as bottlenecks. Also, these maintenance works required a long stoppage of traffic. Therefore, such projects were taken up during the lockdown and considered it once as a lifetime opportunity to execute them without affecting the service of the train."
These works are the rebuilding of 82 bridges, to replace level crossing gates building 48 limited height road under bridges are done, 16-foot overbridges construction or strengthening, 14 old foot overbridges (FOBs) dismantling, launching of 7 road overbridges, 5-yard remodeling commissioning of doubling of one project and 26 other projects.
What was the proposal of 2015?
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved doubling of the Hotgi-Kudgi-Gadag railway line with an aim of overall economic development of the region. The anticipated cost of the doubling of the Hotgi-Kudgi-Gadag railway line is about Rs 1618 crore and the completion cost Rs 2058 crore.
Let us tell you that Hotgi-Kudgi-Gadag is a single line rail link route between Guntakal-Pune-Mumbai and Hospet-Hubli-Goa rail routes. As it is connecting the cities of Bangalore and Mumbai so it is an important rail link.
About the Bridge
A 670 m-long bridge over the Bhima river is commissioned by Indian Railways in the South Western Railway zone. As it is the longest bridge in South Western Railways and also longest over the Bhima river and so it is termed as an engineering marvel. It is an important part of the 33 km long rail section which connects Maharashtra to Karnataka. The bridge comprises 14 spans of 45.7 metres each. The bridge is designed to fit for 25T axle loading.
About Bhima River
It is a major tributary of the Krishna River which flows through Maharashtra and Karnataka states, western India. In the Bhimashankar heights of the Western Ghats, it rises and flows southeastward for 450 miles or 725 km in Maharashtra to join the Krishna in Karnataka. The major tributaries are the Sina and Nira rivers. The drainage area of the Bhima is defined by the Western Ghats (west), the Balaghat Range (north), and the Mahadeo Hills (south).
There is a major dam on the Bhima river called as Ujjaini Dam which is also known as Bhima Dam or Bhima Irrigation Project on the Bhima River.