Renovation of first rail-cum-road bridge built after independence begins


Begusarai, 26 April (Hindustan Times). The central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constructing a six-lane road and a double-lane rail bridge over the river Ganges at Simaria in Bihar. Rajendra Setu, the first rail-cum-road bridge built on the river Ganges in the country after independence will not cease to exist.

The repair work of Rajendra bridge has been started from Wednesday at a cost of 65 crores. The repair work will also be completed by the last month of 2024. SP Singla Construction Limited, the agency engaged in the repair, has started the repair work from one side by barricading the middle of the road. The old slab of the road is being cut. After cutting, the new slab will be molded and after starting the vehicle operation on this side, repairs will be done on the other side.

During this, traffic on the roadway of Rajendra Setu will come to a complete standstill from 12 midnight to 4 am. While small vehicles will be operated under one-way arrangement from 4 am to 12 midnight. Magistrate and police forces have been deployed at Simaria and Hathidah Chhor by Begusarai district administration and Patna district administration.

The vehicle will be operated at an interval of 30-30 minutes from both the sides. Insulation mats have been installed to ensure that debris does not fall on the rail route passing below the road and that there is no problem with the 25,000 volt electric wire. Rail block can also be taken in between as per the requirement.

Along with cutting the new road completely, the footpaths on both sides will also be repaired. The concrete slab of the footpath will be cut and iron slab will be fixed on both the sides. After repair, vehicles weighing up to 18 tonnes will be able to pass through the bridge. Weigh-bridge machines will also be installed to weigh the vehicles moving on both sides of the bridge.

It is noteworthy that after independence, with the efforts of the first Chief Minister of Bihar, Dr. Shrikrishna Singh, the Central Government had built the country’s first road-cum-rail bridge over the river Ganges at Simaria between Begusarai and Patna districts in Bihar. The unique design of the bridge was prepared by Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya and it was named Rajendra Setu due to its inauguration in 1959 by the first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

After which the operation continued with periodic repairs. In 2009, there was a crack in the garter, which was not repaired till 2012, after Advocate Amarendra Kumar Amar gathered information through RTI and a PIL was filed in the Patna High Court with the support of Advocate Gopal Kumar. Due to the strictness of the High Court and the efforts of the then MP Dr. Bhola Singh, about 20 crores were repaired, but due to the ban on the passage of heavy vehicles from Gandhi Setu in Patna and Vikramshila Setu in Bhagalpur, the load of vehicles from all over Bihar fell to Rajendra. Arrived on the bridge. In 2019, height gauges were installed to stop the operation of large and heavy vehicles after the garter caved in at two places near Hathidah side number-one. After that now the repair work has started.

On the one hand, this historic bridge is being repaired, while looking at the condition of the bridge, the construction work of the six-lane road bridge and the railway bridge, on which the foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is also going on very fast. When operations will be started on both the newly constructed bridges from 2024, short distance vehicles will ply on the former bridge and will be preserved as a heritage in a way.


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