IMPHAL, Nov 23 � The Tupul-Imphal Railway tunnel in the on-going Manipur railway project (Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal) could be the longest railway tunnel in the country, according to a spokesperson of the Northeast Frontier Railway (Construction Organisation), Guwahati.
�But it could be confirmed whether the tunnel would be the longest in the country only when the construction work is completed,� the spokesperson said over phone.
The Tupul-Imphal Railway tunnel (tunnel number 12) is presently projected as the longest tunnel (10.75 km) amongst 46 tunnels which will cover a total distance of 54.5 km on the 111 km-long new railway line in the State, according to reports.
The 11.2 km long Pir Panjal Railway tunnel which passes through the Pir Panjal Range of middle Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir which is a part of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project, is India�s longest railway tunnel. The tunnel has reduced the distance between Quazigund and Banihal. Till November 20 this year, as many as nine tunnels have been completed along Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal rail project covering more than 11 km in the new railway line, NF Railway sources added.
Interestingly, out of proposed 148 bridges including four tall, five major and 139 minor bridges, the proposed railway bridge (number 164) near the proposed Noney station along the railway line would be the tallest girder rail bridge in the world with a height of 141 metres.
The anticipated cost of the bridge which is expected to consume 5.1 lakh cement bags (2,55,000 quintals), 75,000 quintals of structural steel, 60,000 quintals of reinforced steel and 22,000 mild steel plates, is Rs 280 crore. At present, the tallest railway bridge is 139 metres high Malarijeka Viaduct in Montenegro in Europe. Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway line which is estimated to cost Rs 5,996 crores, is targeted to be completed by 2018 while the 84 km Jiribam-Tupul sector is projected for completion by mid-2016.