Kota’s iconic hanging bridge is finally open for commuters. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated the bridge on the 29th of August through video conferencing from Udaipur. Before the inauguration, a trial was done by opening it for commuters. This is India’s 3rd hanging bridge and the first one in Rajasthan. The bridge is cable-stayed and has a single plain suspension.
The initiation of this project began around 11 years back in the year 2006. A deadline of 40 months was given for the construction of this bridge. However, the work got delayed because of environmental and wildlife clearances. The issues were settled with little effort and the work finally began in 2007. As per the schedule, the bridge was to be inaugurated in November 2012. However, the work got delayed and it was finally opened in August this year.
As PM, Narendra Modi inaugurated the bridge, he addressed the nation saying, “The project has been pending for 11 years. It should have been completed within one to one-and-a-half years. After the formation of our government in 2014, we restarted work and now the cable-stayed bridge is being dedicated to the nation today.” Big LED screens were installed at the bridge for the inauguration ceremony. Modi’s speech was broadcast through these screens. Several people gathered there to witness the ceremony. Om Birla, Kota MP, Sandeep Sharma, Kota South MLA and many other prominent leaders from Rajasthan were also present on the occasion.
An investment of INR 213.59 crore has been done for the construction of this iconic bridge. The project was sponsored by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The construction of the bridge has been done by Hyundai Engineering of South Korea.
It crosses the Chambal River running just outside the city. The 1.5 km long bridge stands 60 metre high from the Chambal river surface. It is 30 meters in width with 125 meters height. It has lateral spans of 175 metres and main span of 350 metres on either side. This is the longest main span in the country. Talking about the same on the inauguration ceremony of the bridge, Birla said, “With its longest ‘main span’ of 350 metre, among the five cable stayed bridges in the country, this bridge today became an iconic structure like the Bandra–Worli Sea Link in Mumbai and the Howrah Bridge in Kolkata.” He said that it will serve as a bypass for the travellers. It will also help in reducing the accident cases in Kota.
The bridge has eased commuting for travellers. It has accomplished country’s east-west corridor facilitating the transportation from Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Bikaner and Udaipur to Indore, Bhopal, and Gwalior by way of Jhalawar. East-west corridor is the country’s second longest national highway that links as many as seven states from Silchar in Assam to Porbandar in Gujarat. “This bridge will reduce commuting time by 60 minutes through National Highway no 27 (Kota-Chittor National Highway) and National Highway no 12 (Kota-Jhalawar NH). Earlier, commuters had to pass through traffic in Kota City but now they can bypass Kota City within 15 minutes,” shared MK Jain, regional officer, NHAI, Rajasthan.
Also known as Kota Chambal Bridge or Kota Cable Bridge, this bridge is indeed an engineering marvel.