Pamban Bridge

Pamban Bridge is a railway bridge which connects the town of Rameswaram on Pamban Island to mainland India. Opened on 24 February 1914[1], it was India's first sea bridge, and was the longest sea bridge in India until the opening of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in 2010. The rail bridge is, for the most part, a conventional bridge resting on concrete piers, but has a double-leaf bascule section midway, which can be raised to let ships and barges pass through. Until 1988, the Pamban bridge was the only surface transport that connected Tamil Nadu's island of Rameswaram to the mainland. In 2018, the bascule of this bridge is damaged. This damage ended the transportation on the bridge.

In 1988, a road bridge was also constructed parallel to the rail bridge. This road bridge is also known as Indira Gandhi Road Bridge. The Pamban Road Bridge connects the National Highway (NH 49) with the Rameswaram island. It stands on the Palk Strait and between the shores of Mandapam (a place on the Indian mainland) and Pamban (one of the fishermen town in Rameswaram island). It was inaugurated by former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on 2 October 1988.[2] This 2.345 km long Bridge took close to 14 years to be completed.

Pamban Bridge
Pamban Bridge Train Passing
Pamban bridge
Coordinates9°16′57.25″N 79°12′5.91″E / 9.2825694°N 79.2016417°ECoordinates: 9°16′57.25″N 79°12′5.91″E / 9.2825694°N 79.2016417°E
CarriesRail
LocaleRameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
OwnerIndian Railways
Characteristics
Total length6,776 feet (2,065 m)
No. of spans144
Rail characteristics
No. of tracks1
Track gaugebroad gauge
History
Construction start1911
Construction end1914
Opened1915
Closed2018
Pamban Road and Rail Bridge
Pamban Road and Rail Bridge

Location

The Pamban railway bridge spans a 2.065 km[3] strait between the Indian mainland and Pamban island. The mainland end of the bridge is located at 9°16′56.70″N 79°11′20.12″E / 9.2824167°N 79.1889222°E. The bridge is located in the world's second most corrosive environment after Florida, making its maintenance a challenging job. The location is also a cyclone-prone high wind velocity zone.[4]

Design

A closeup shot of Pamban Bridge
Lifting spans allow small ships to pass through

The railway bridge is located 12.5 metres (41 ft) above sea level and is 6,776 ft (2,065 m) long.[4] The bridge consists of 143 piers and has a double-leaf bascule section with a Scherzer rolling type lift span that can be raised to let ships pass. Each half of the lifting span weighs 415 tonnes (457 tons).[5] The two leaves of the bridge are opened manually using levers.[4]

Planning and Construction

Plans for a bridge to connect to mainland was suggested in 1870[6] as the British Administration sought ways to increase trade with Ceylon.[7] The construction began in August 1911 and was opened on 24 February 1914.[8] The adjacent road bridge was opened in 1988.[7] As of 5 December 2018, the bridge was closed due to a crack in the bridge and the maintenance work is going on[9]. The Indian Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced to construct a new railway bridge at a cost of Rs. 250 crores near the old Pamban Bridge[10]. This new dual track bridge is planned to constructed in automotive mode and at the same time two ships can pass this bridge.

Maintenance

The bridge was damaged during the 1964 Rameswaram cyclone and required repair work.[11] Strengthening work was carried out on the bridge under the supervision of E. Sreedharan in 2009 to enable it to carry goods trains.[12][13] On 13 January 2013, the bridge required repair work to the piers after suffering minor damage from a naval barge.[14][15] In 2016, the Ministry of Railways sanctioned 25 crore (US$3.5 million) to replace the existing 65.23 metres (214.0 ft) long rolling type span with a 66 metres (217 ft) long single truss span which could be opened automatically.[16] All train movement was stopped from 5 December 2018 when a fissure was noticed on 4 December 2018.[17]

Railway

The railway bridge carried metre gauge trains connecting Mandapam on mainland India to Pamban. Indian Railways upgraded the bridge to carry broad gauge trains and the work was completed on 12 August 2007.[7] From Pamban, the railway line bifurcated, one line towards Rameshwaram about 6.25 miles (10.06 km) up and another branch line of 15 miles (24 km) terminating at Dhanushkodi.[18] Boat mail express runs from Chennai Egmore to Rameswaram. The train ran up to Dhanushkodi until 1964 when the metre-gauge branch line from Pamban to Dhanushkodi was destroyed during the 1964 Dhanushkodi cyclone.[19]

Road

Pamban Bridge connecting Rameshwaram Island
Pamban Road Bridge

The construction works of Pamban Road bridge was commenced on 17 November 1974 by the Indian Highway department and contracted to M/S Neelakandan Brothers Engs, Madras. After the 1978 cyclone the work was carried out slowly, and few years later the contract was given to the New Gammon India Ltd. The Government sanctioned 16.6514 crore INR by 1986. The work was completed on 1988.[2]

Accidents

On 23 December 1964, an estimated 7.6 m (25 ft) storm surge struck the island, overturning the Pamban-Dhanuskodi passenger train killing all 150 passengers on board.[20] On 13 January 2013, the bridge suffered minor damage when a naval barge drifted into it.[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Pamban Bridge, Pamban Railway Bridge". My Rameswaram. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  2. ^ a b "Pamban Road Bridge: Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge". 2017.
  3. ^ "Pamban Bridge, Pamban Railway Bridge". My Rameswaram. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  4. ^ a b c T.E., Raja Simhan (21 November 2003). "Pamban Bridge to be pulled down for gauge conversion". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  5. ^ Sri Raman, Papri (11 August 2007). "Bridge of memories – and to Rameswaram – reopens". Hindustan Times.
  6. ^ "Pamban Bridge, Pamban Railway Bridge". My Rameswaram. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  7. ^ a b c "Pamban bridge: 10 awesome facts about India's first sea bridge". The Economic Times.
  8. ^ Lalvani, Kartar (2016). The Making of India: The Untold Story of British Enterprise. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4729-2483-4.
  9. ^ "Train Services from Rameswaram to Mandapam Suspended due to Crack in Pamban Bridge". Press108. 2018-12-18. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  10. ^ "Ministry of Railways confirms New Bridge in Pamban". Press108. 2018-12-25. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  11. ^ The Story of The Deities and The Temples in Southern Indian Peninsula. Trilochan Dash. p. 178.
  12. ^ "Delhi's Subway Builder". Forbes. 1 May 2009.
  13. ^ "Strengthening of Pamban Railway Bridge". The Hindu. 17 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Ship collides into century-old rail bridge". NDTV. 13 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Repair work on Pamban bridge fast progressing". The Hindu. 16 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Principal Chief Engineer inspects Pamban rail bridge". The Hindu. 26 February 2016.
  17. ^ "Trains to Rameswaram cancelled due to repair work on Pamban". The Times of India. 5 December 2018.
  18. ^ Jethwa, Raja Pawan (2007). "Section II: Mileage wise available Details of Railway lines laid". Shree Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj: A brief History & Glory of our fore-fathers. pp. 63–70.
  19. ^ Jaishankar, C (17 July 2006). "Their sentiment to metre gauge train is unfathomable". The Hindu.
  20. ^ Jaishankar, C. (24 December 2005). "Memory of the disaster still lingers". The Hindu.
  21. ^ "Ship collides into century-old rail bridge". NDTV. 13 January 2013.

External links

Bascule bridge

A bascule bridge (sometimes referred to as a drawbridge) is a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances a span, or "leaf", throughout its upward swing to provide clearance for boat traffic. It may be single- or double-leafed.

The name comes from the French term for balance scale, which employs the same principle. Bascule bridges are the most common type of movable span because they open quickly and require relatively little energy to operate, while providing the possibility for unlimited vertical clearance for marine traffic.

Cross-sea traffic ways

Cross-sea traffic ways are vehicle or railroad traffic ways across the sea. Such traffic ways could include bridges or tunnels.

Dhanushkodi railway station

Dhanushkodi railway station is an abandoned railway station in Tamil Nadu, India. It was abandoned during the 1964 Rameswaram cyclone.

E. Sreedharan

Elattuvalapil Sreedharan is an Indian civil engineer and a retired IES (IRSE) officer popularly known as the "Metro Man". He is credited for changing the face of public transport in India with his leadership in building the Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro while he served as the managing director of Delhi Metro between 1995 and 2012. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2001, the Padma Vibhushan in 2008, the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 2005 by the French government and was named one of Asia's Heroes by TIME magazine in 2003. Sreedharan was appointed by the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to serve on the United Nations's High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (HLAG-ST) for a period of three years in 2015. He is also a member of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board

John Sinclair, 1st Baron Pentland

John Sinclair, 1st Baron Pentland, (7 July 1860 – 11 January 1925) was a Scottish Liberal Party politician, soldier, peer, administrator and Privy Councillor who served as the Secretary of Scotland from 1905 to 1912 and the Governor of Madras from 1912 to 1919.

Baron Pentland was born John Sinclair to Sir John Sinclair, 6th baronet of Dunbeath. He studied in the United Kingdom and in 1892, entered the House of Commons as an elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Dunbartonshire. He was elected for a second term from Forfar in 1897 and served in the British Parliament from 1892 to 1895 and 1897 to 1909. He also served as an Aide-de-Camp and secretary to Lord Aberdeen. Sinclair was appointed to the Privy Council in 1905. He served as the Secretary for Scotland from 1905 to 1912 and as the Governor of Madras from 1912 to 1919. He died in 1925.

During his tenure as Governor of Madras, Pentland became popular in India for the interest he showed in the indigenous tradition and culture. At the same time, he is also remembered for his crackdown on Annie Besant and leaders of the Home Rule Movement.

A radical Liberal, Sinclair was supportive of reforms aimed at promoting social justice. As noted by Veronica Strong-Boag

"As much as anyone in the new Cabinet after the 1905 election, he embodied the new liberalism of state intervention on the side of the weak. He was also a staunch proponent of legislation tailored to Scottish circumstances. His advocacy of the Scottish Education Act of 1908, which provided for improved teacher training and school facilities and meals for students, very much followed the spirit of Lord Aberdeen’s practices on his own estates. So, too, did Sinclair’s support for legislation to secure the land rights of Scottish crofters."

List of longest bridges above water in India

This is a list of India's bridges longer than 500 metres (1,640 ft) sorted by their full length above water.

National Highway 49 (India, old numbering)

National Highway 49 (or NH 49) was a National Highway in southern India under former numbering system.. It traversed coast-to-coast linking Kochi in Kerala with Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu. It crosses the famous Pamban Bridge (Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge) before crossing into Rameswaram island. The total length runs up to 440 km (270 mi). The 5 km road between Mukundarayar Chathiram and Dhanuskodi was destroyed during the 1963 cyclone and was rebuilt.

Government of India has recently announced that the destroyed stretch will be rebuilt at a cost of INR 250 million.The road between Madurai and Ramanathapuram is soon to be converted from the present single road to a four-lane highway. Union minister for road transport and shipping Nitin Gadkari was participated in the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Rs 1,387-crore project in Madurai on 17 July 2015.

An initial outlay of Rs 900 crore was made and now the project has been sanctioned Rs 1,387 crore. The 75km stretch from Madurai to Paramakudi will be converted into a four-lane road, while the remaining 39km stretch from Paramakudi to Ramanathapuram widened to form a two-lane road with paved shoulders. Falling under the NH-49, this project is one of the largest to be implemented in Tamil Nadu by the NHAI in the recent times.

National Highway 87 (India)

National Highway 87 (or NH 87) is a National Highway in southern India. It crosses the famous Pamban Bridge (Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge) before crossing into Rameswaram island. The total length runs up to 154 km (96 mi). The 5 km road between Mukundarayar Chathiram and Dhanuskodi was destroyed during the 1964 cyclone and was never rebuilt. Government of India has recently announced that the destroyed stretch will be rebuilt at a cost of INR 250 million.The road between Madurai and Ramanathapuram is soon to be converted from the present single road to a four-lane highway. Union minister for road transport and shipping Nitin Gadkari was participated in the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Rs 1,387-crore project in Madurai on 17 July 2015.

An initial outlay of Rs 900 crore was made and now the project has been sanctioned Rs 1,387 crore. The 75km stretch from Madurai to Paramakudi will be converted into a four-lane road, while the remaining 39km stretch from Paramakudi to Ramanathapuram widened to form a two-lane road with paved shoulders. Falling under the NH-49, this project is one of the largest to be implemented in Tamil Nadu by the NHAI in the recent times.

Palk Strait bridge

The Palk Strait bridge was a proposed 23-kilometre (14 mi) bridge over the Palk Strait, between Dhanushkodi in mainland India, and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. The proposal, from Indian Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, was submitted to the Asian Development Bank in June 2015. In December 2015, the Lankan Minister of Highways, Lakshman Kiriella, dismissed the proposal.

Pamban (disambiguation)

Pamban is a town on Pamban Island in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Pamban may also refer to:

Pamban Bridge, a bridge on the Palk Strait which connects Rameswaram on Pamban Island to mainland India

Pamban Island, an island located in the Palk Strait between mainland India and Sri Lanka

Pamban Lighthouse, on Pamban Island

Pamban Swamigal (1848–1929), Saivite saint and poet

Pamban Island

Pamban Island (Tamil: பாம்பன் தீவு Pāmpan Island), also known as Rameswaram Island, is an island located between peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The island is a part of India and forms the Rameswaram taluk of the Ramanathapuram district of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is the largest island in Tamil Nadu by area. The principal town in the island is the pilgrimage centre of Rameswaram.

Ramanathapuram district

Ramanathapuram District is an administrative district of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The town of Ramanathapuram is the district headquarters. Ramanthapuram District has an area of 4123 km2. It is bounded on the north by Sivaganga District, on the northeast by Pudukkottai District, on the east by the Palk Strait, on the south by the Gulf of Mannar, on the west by Thoothukudi District, and on the northwest by Virudhunagar District. The district contains the Pamban Bridge, an east-west chain of low islands and shallow reefs that extend between India and the island nation of Sri Lanka, and separate the Palk Strait from the Gulf of Mannar. The Palk Strait is navigable only by shallow-draft vessels. It also contains Theriruveli, a small village. As of 2011, Ramanathapuram district had a population of 1,353,445 with a sex-ratio of 983 females for every 1,000 males.

Ramanathapuram railway station

Ramanathapuram railway station is a railway station serving the town of Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu, India.

The station is a part of the Madurai railway division of the Southern Railway Zone and connects the city to various parts of the state as well as the rest of the country.

Rameswaram

Rameswaram, (also spelt as Ramesvaram, Rameshwaram) is a town and a second grade municipality in the Ramanathapuram district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is on Pamban Island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is about 40 kilometres from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. It is in the Gulf of Mannar, at the tip of the Indian peninsula. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is connected to mainland India by the Pamban Bridge. Rameswaram is the terminus of the railway line from Chennai and Madurai. Together with Varanasi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimage.

It is said the Hindu god Rama built a bridge from here across the sea to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from her abductor Ravana. The Ramanathaswamy Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, is at the centre of the town and is closely associated with Rama. The temple and the town are considered a holy pilgrimage site for Shaivas and Vaishnavas.Rameswaram is the closest point from which to reach Sri Lanka from India, and geological evidence suggests that the Rama Sethu was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The town has been in the news over the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, Kachchatheevu, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and capturing local fishermen for alleged cross-border activities by Sri Lankan Forces. Rameswaram is administered by a municipality established in 1994. The town covers an area of 53 km2 (20 sq mi) and had a population of 44,856 as of 2011. Tourism and fishery employ the majority of workforce in Rameswaram.

Rameswaram railway station

Rameswaram railway station is a railway station serving the town of Rameswaram located on the Rameswaram Island in the Ramnad district of Tamil Nadu. It is belongs to the Madurai railway division and is an important terminal of the Southern Railway Zone. The station links the pilgrim town as well as the rest of the island to the mainland via the highly acclaimed Pamban Rail Bridge.

Sreedharan

Sreedharan is one of the names of the Hindu deity Vishnu. It is used as a male given name in India and the Indian diaspora. People with that name include:

N. Sreedharan, One of the chief organisers of Communist Party in Central Travancore and former CPI(M) Secretariat Member

E. Sreedharan, popularly known as metro man, engineer known for heading Delhi Metro and repairing Pamban Bridge

Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair, Malayalam actor

Perumbadavam Sreedharan, Malayalam author

Vaigai River

The Vaigai is a river in the Tamil Nadu state of southern India; it passes through the towns of Theni, Andipatti and Madurai. It originates in Varusanadu Hills, the Periyar Plateau of the Western Ghats range, and flows northeast through the Kambam Valley, which lies between the Palni Hills to the north and the Varushanad Hills to the south. The Vattaparai Falls are located on this river. As it rounds the eastern corner of the Varushanad Hills, the river turns southeast, running through the region of Pandya Nadu. Madurai, the largest city in the Pandya Nadu region and its ancient capital, lies on the Vaigai. The river empties into the Palk Strait near Uchipuli, close to Pamban bridge in Ramanathapuram District.

The Vaigai is 258 kilometres (160 mi) long, with a drainage basin 7,031 square kilometres (2,715 sq mi) large.

Vembar

Vembar is a village panchayat in Thoothukudi district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Vembar is a village situated along the East Coast road at the north end of Tuticorin district. It has two Panchayets - Vembar and Vembar South.

Vembar is located near the district’s border with Ramanathapuram District, about 13 km south of Sayalkudi and around 7 km from Melmandai. Madurai is 97 km north-west while Tirunelveli is 85 km west.

Panchalankurichi, Ettayapuram, Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, Kurusadai Islands, Pamban Bridge and Dhanushkodi can be visited while in Vembar. Nearest airport is at Tuticorin. Ramanathapuram Railway Station, Kovilpatti and Tuticorin Railway Station serve Vembar.

Main source of income here are Fishing and Palmyra tree climbing.

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