Digha–Sonpur rail–cum–road bridge
|Digha–Sonpur rail–cum–road bridge
दीघा-सोनपुर रेल-सह-सड़क सेतु
|Total length||4,556 metres (14,948 ft)|
|Width||10 metres (33 ft)|
|Number of spans||36|
|Construction end||August 2015|
|Opened||2 February 2016|
|Daily traffic||14 pair of trains|
Digha–Sonpur rail–cum–road bridge (Hindi: दीघा-सोनपुर रेल-सह-सड़क सेतु) or Ganga rail–road bridge (Hindi: गंगा रेल-सड़क सेतु) is a bridge across river Ganges, connecting Digha Ghat in Patna and Pahleja Ghat in Sonpur, Saran district in the Indian state of Bihar. The rail-cum-road bridge provides easy roadway and railway link between northern and southern parts of Bihar. It is a steel girder bridge. Regular scheduled passenger rail service was inaugurated on this route on 3 February 2016. This is second railway bridge in Bihar after Rajendra Setu that connects North Bihar to South Bihar. Indian railways has constructed two railway stations on either sides of the bridge – Patliputra Junction railway station(PPTA) and Bharpura PahlejaGhat railway station(PHLG).
On 22 December, 1996, Former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda laid the foundation stone for the construction of the railway bridge over Ganga at Sonepur. Ram Vilas Paswan was the railway minister at that time, but the physical work on the bridge began in 2003 when Nitish Kumar was the railway minister. The Digha–Sonpur Ganga bridge was initially sanctioned as a rail bridge; the project was converted to a rail-cum-road bridge in 2006. Total cost of the project was put at ₹13,890 million, out of which ₹8,350 million was for the rail part, and ₹5,540 million was for the road part. It was expected to be completed in five years. The construction work on the bridge was completed in August 2015, and a trial run of a diesel locomotive was undertaken on the bridge in the same month.
Ganga rail–road bridge project was executed by Ircon International and the bridge was completed at ₹1,570 crore (US$230 million). The electrification work on the Patna-Sonepur-Hajipur Section was completed by July 2016.
This bridge 4,556 metres (14,948 ft) is amongst the longest bridges in India. The total length of construction, including approaches, would be 20 km. It would be a K-truss bridge. There will be two rail tracks (up and down tracks) and a four-lane road (two carriage ways in each direction).
Construction of the bridge being completed, the inaugural commercial run on the rail bridge took place on 3 February 2016. The Digha–Sonepur rail bridge was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 March 2016. The second rail track is still to be laid, and although the road on the bridge is complete, the approach roads on both ends are incomplete due to delay in land acquisition. Trains running on Ganga rail–road bridge between Sonepur and Patliputra are:
- Raxaul–Hajipur intercity express (Train no. 15202)
- Gorakhpur–Patliputra passenger (Train no. 55042)
- Sonepur–Gorakhpur passenger (Train no.55209)
- Gorakhpur–Sonepur passenger (Train no. 55008)
- Sonepur–Kaptanganj passenger (Train no. 55007)
- Patliputra–Barauni DEMU (Train no. 75216)
- Patliputra–Narkatiaganj intercity (Train no. 25201)
- Lucknow–Patliputra–Lucknow express (via SV,GKP) (Train no.12529/30 )-
In 1996, survey work for the proposed bridge was initiated by the Railways at three possible sites – Digha–Sonepur, Gulzarbagh–Hajipur and Ict Ghat–Sonepur. Ram Vilas Paswan was then the Union Railway Minister and he lent his support to the Gulzarbagh-Hajipur site, as Hajipur was the constituency from which he was elected. Lalu Prasad Yadav, then Chief Minister of Bihar, lent his support to the Digha–Sonepur site. In the wake of the conflicting support of the political heavy weights, disturbances broke out at Sonepur. One person was shot dead. Many experts opined in favour of building the rail bridge adjacent to the Mahatma Gandhi Setu, the road bridge connecting Hajipur with Patna. However, political opinion prevailed and the Digha–Sonepur site was selected. Rs. 24 million was spent on the survey alone. The proposal to the contruct the bridge was mentioned in the union budget of 1997-98 and at that time the estimated cost was 600 crores. The bridge was finally sanctioned during the term as Union Railway Minister of Nitish Kumar, present Chief Minister of Bihar. The scope of work was expanded when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the Union Railway Minister.
Regularly scheduled passenger service was inaugurated on this route on 3 February 2016. Initially, six services will utilize the bridge connecting Patna with North Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh. Diesel Multiple Unit trains from Patliputra Junction to Barauni Junction via Sonepur, Hajipur, Shahpur Patori, to Gorakhpur Junction via Chhapra, Siwan, Thawe and Kaptanganj, and to Gorakhpur Junction via Hajipur, Muzaffarpur, Raxaul and Narkatiaganj are among the initial services.
In May 2016, Roll-on/roll-off (RO-RO) service was introduced from Bihta (private freight terminal) to Turki station in Muzaffarpur district covering a distance of 88km through the Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge. This is second such service in India. Before this, Railways started RoRo services in the Konkan region. The railway wagons ferry loaded trucks to their destination. This is started by Railways to attract more loadings , reduce carbon emission and reduce load on Mahatma Gandhi Setu. Approximately 44 loaded or empty trucks move in a rake and one rake do three trips a day. Ferrying of trucks weighing 15 MT (metric tonnes) cost ₹4,107 (US$61) and of empty trucks of average 6 MT (metric tonnes) weight ₹2,806 (US$42). Similarly, trucks weighing over 15 MT are charged Rs 200 more for every tonne over 15MT. The maximum weight allowed is 66 MT. From July 3 onwards, starting destination is changed to Danapur instead of Bihita.
Bridges across the Ganges in Bihar
The Ganges divides the state of Bihar in two parts. The mighty river makes communication between the two parts a difficult task.
- The first effort to bridge the gap was Rajendra Setu in 1959.
- The next bridge across the Ganges in Bihar was the 5,575 metres (18,291 ft) Mahatma Gandhi Setu, the longest bridge in India at the time of its commissioning in 1982.
- It was followed by Vikramshila Setu near Bhagalpur.
- The fourth bridge across the Ganges in the state is the Digha–Sonpur rail–cum–road bridge.
- The Munger Ganga Bridge was formally opened for passenger trains on 11 April 2016. The road on the bridge is complete, too, but approach roads on both ends are not even in initial stage due to lack of land acquisition.
- A fourth rail bridge over Ganga has been sanctioned at Bikramshila–Kataria with 18 km new rail line between Pirpainti and Naugachhia at cost of rupees 1601 Crore taking in consideration for access to north Bihar from Jharkhand by Jasidih Pirpainti new rail line under construction.
- Construction of a double track rail bridge, 25 meter upstream from present Rajendra Pul was inaugurated on 12 March 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating Patna Lucknow Intercity express.
- A 5.575 km long bridge Bakhtiyarpur-Tajpur Bridge is under construction which will connect Bakhtiyarpur and Tajpur.
- Another 6 lane road bridge is already under construction at Patna connecting Kachchi Dargah in Patna and Bidupur in Vaishali.
- The Arrah–Chhapra Bridge across the Ganges is also under construction which will connect Arrah and Chhapra.
- A road bridge parallel to the existing rail and road bridge, Rajendra Setu, has also been planned.
- List of road–rail bridges
- List of longest bridges above water in India
- Loknayak Ganga Path
- Kacchi Dargah–Bidupur Bridge
- Bakhtiyarpur–Tajpur Bridge
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ganga rail–road bridge.|
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|Ganga Rail-Cum-Road Bridge construction, Patna|