The Defence Minister was accompanied by Army Chief General Dalbir Singh and Union Minister Jitender Singh at the inauguration of ‘Atal Setu’.
It is the fourth of its kind in India after Bandra-Worli sealink in Mumbai, Naini Bridge in Allahabad, and Vidyasagar Setu in Kolkata.
A top-view of the Atal Setu at the time of construction.
The UPA-II government initiated the construction of the bridge but it happened only after people of Basholi protested after 22 villages went under the water due to the construction of the Ranjit Sagar dam.
Constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Atal Setu cost Rs.145 crore. It is a joint venture of Indian Railway Construction Company Limited (IRCON) and SP Singla Construction group.
Infinity Engineers, a Canadian company, prepared the design which was approved by IIT-Delhi.
“Cable-stayed bridges provide outstanding architectural appearance due to their small diameter cables and unique overhead structure,” they added.
But the Defence Minister is not in the mood to sit on laurels. He has already agreed to look into a prospect of construct around 25 tunnels across J&K to not only improve road connectivity but also to ensure that roads are open in the State throughout the year.