The central government has approved the construction of an iconic cable stayed-cum-suspension bridge across the Krishna river connecting Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and passing through the Nallamala forest range. The decision was announced by the union minister for road transport and national highways Nitin Gadkari. Gadkari said the iconic bridge will have several unique features like the longest glass pedestrian walkway across a river, gopuram-like pylons, signature lighting and a large navigational span.
The two-storeyed cable bridge with a four-lane carriageway across the Krishna river was approved last week by the standing committee on finance for the union ministry of road transport and national highways.
Dimensions and key points about the suspension bridge:
- The three-km-long bridge will reduce the distance between Hyderabad and Tirupati by 80 km, the union minister said the hybrid structural arrangement in the bridge would give a structural advantage to it and make it economical as well as aesthetically pleasing.
- The bridge begins at Somasila at Kollapur in Telangana’s Nagarkurnool district and Atmakur in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district.
- At present, the people from Telangana are forced to travel for a long distance via Kurnool to reach pilgrim centres like Mahanandi, Ahobilam, Tirupati.
- The only other option is to travel by boat across the river from Somasila to reach these places.
- River travel remains riskier due to the flow of the Krishna river. A boat capsizes incident that took place on this route on January 18, 2007, resulted in the death of nearly 60 people.
- Since that incident, people from both sides have been asking for a bridge across the river to reduce the distance.
- After constant pursuit by the Telangana government, the Centre finally gave the approval for the project under the Bharatmala Pariyojana project, an official in the Telangana government said, adding that the bridge would also give a boost to tourism in the area.