62 % work completed on Bajrang Setu in Rishikesh: Officials
Around 62% of work on the Bajrang Setu glass-fitted suspension bridge, an alternative to the Lakshman Jhula bridge, has been completed in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. The new bridge is expected to be completed by July 2023 and will be the first glass pavement bridge in north India fitted with the latest technology. The old Laxman Jhula bridge, closed after being declared unsafe for pedestrians, will be preserved as a heritage property.
Around 62% work on cable glass-fitted suspension bridge, Bajrang Setu, has been completed in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, officials privy to the matter said on Monday.
Bajrang Setu is being constructed as an alternative to the 90-year-old Lakshman Jhula bridge which was closed after being declared unsafe for pedestrians in 2022.
The state public works department officials, who are handling the work, are hopeful that the new bridge will be completed by July 2023.
Earlier, on Sunday, tourism and PWD minister Satpal Maharaj visited the construction site and directed the officials to speed up the work so that it is completed on time.
He said, “The 132.5-meter-long bridge being constructed at a cost of ₹69.20 crore was started on January 5, 2022 after the old 92-year-old Lakshman Jhula bridge was closed on April 16, 2022 by the authorities for safety reasons. This, however, became the main cause of inconvenience for the pilgrims who used to cross over Ganga through this old bridge so it was decided to construct a state-of-the-art bridge in Rishikesh.”
Tehri circle superintendent engineer NP Singh said, “ It will be a glass-fitted 132.5-meter-long bridge with a width of 8 meters, and the middle of the bridge will be for two-way light vehicle movement while the outer area on both left and right sides from the centre will be for pedestrians and glass fitted in which tourists can watch the Ganga below while walking on it.”
It will be a state-of-the- art marvel and the façade on both ends of the towers will resemble Kedarnath temple, with light vehicles passing through the hollow space between the towers, added Singh.
Bajrang Setu will be the first glass pavement bridge in north India fitted with the latest technology, he added.
The old Laxman Jhula bridge will not be dismantled but preserved as heritage property said minister Satpal Maharaj.
Rishikesh resident Ranbir Singh welcomed the move and said, “Safety of the pedestrians and people on light vehicle owners who will pass through the bridge should also be taken into account.”
Talking about the bridge safety, Singh said that the glass fitting will be unbreakable, will be able to withstand heavy rain and hails and won’t break in extreme conditions as all the construction material being utilised is being thoroughly tested before installation.
Currently, pedestrians are using two bridges, Ram Jhula and Janki Setu to cross the Ganga.
The public movement on the iconic 450-feet long Laxman Jhula was halted by Muni ki Reti police last year after one of its supporting wires suddenly snapped.