Behind the Red Fort and close to the Salimgarh Fort, the work on the new bridge, which runs parallel to the old iron bridge, is progressing in full swing. With nearly 67 per cent of the bridge completed, this project is said to conclude by September 2023.
A lot of hurdles were encountered while the construction of the new bridge was going on. The work began in 2003 and the deadline for its completion was set in 2008. But the project was withheld on account of several roadblocks.
This bridge, which could have been completed in three to four years, took two decades to reach its final stage.
The original plan was that the new railway line would pass through some part of the Salimgarh fort in the vicinity, which was objected to by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). This led to the long pause on the construction. Later, the alignment of the bridge was changed and work was resumed after clearance from the ASI. In the process, the foundation of some pillars had to be changed after a massive rock was found underground at the site. All these reasons led to years of delay.
The old iron bridge was built in 1867 by the British. The construction of another bridge here had been long overdue. The approval for a new bridge over the Yamuna River was granted in 1997-98, but the work started in 2003. The cost of the bridge back then was around Rs 91.38 crore. The current estimated cost of this bridge is Rs 139.95 crore, out of which Rs 91.38 crore has been spent.
A new railway track will be laid from the new Kailash Nagar area to Seelampur. Once the new bridge is ready, after Seelampur, trains will resume plying on the old track.
–Ajit Weekly News<br>ptk/kvd/dpb