Indian Railways has completed the arch bottom of the world’s highest railway bridge on the Chenab River in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The new bridge will offer direct connectivity to the Kashmir Valley.

The bridge will be 30m higher than the Paris’ Eiffel Tower and suspended 359m above the Chenab River, reported Press Trust of India.

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on social media said: “In a historic moment, the arch bottom of the Chenab bridge has been completed today. Next, the arch upper of the engineering marvel in making will be completed.”

Northern Railway (NR), the northernmost zone of the Indian Railways, will complete the most challenging 111km-long section of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link by December 2022.

The 272km railway line will be executed at an estimated cost of $3.84bn (Rs280bn).

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NR has completed the first section, linking Udhampur to Katra, and the third section between Banihal and Baramulla. Both these sections have commenced operations.

According to the officials, work on the most difficult Katra-Banihal section is progressing according to schedule.

The 118km Qazigund-Baramulla section, the 25km Udhampur-Katra section, and the 18km Banihal-Qazigund section have already been commissioned.

The last remaining section of the 111km Katra-Banihal section is currently under execution, whereas around 126km out of 174km of tunnels on this section has already been finished.

This project has been divided into three sub-sections for implementation purposes.