The government has approved laying a new broad gauge railway line connecting Rameshwaram with Dhanushkodi, which is believed to be the starting point of Ram Sethu and a major pilgrim destination. The 17-km line will cost around Rs.208 crore and it has been included in the umbrella work for new lines in the current financial year.
Dhanushkodi railway station was destroyed and abandoned after the 1964 Rameshwaram cyclone and it remains unattended. The station’s destruction had left the popular tourist destination as a ghost town. The new railway line will be a boon to pilgrims visiting the place. Hindu pilgrimage at Rameshwaram gets completed only after taking a dip in Dhanushkodi. The railway line may also push the plan for restoration of a rail-cum-sea route to Sri Lanka, sources said. They added that lawmakers had been demanding early restoration of rail connectivity.
The railways has also approved building a new bridge on Pamban channel, which will replace the 104-year-old structure over the sea. The vertical-lift bridge, to be built alongside the existing bridge at Rs.249 crore, will have the first vertical lift span in India. The old bridge was closed for traffic earlier this month.
A vertical-lift bridge or lift bridge is a type of movable bridge in which a span rises vertically while remaining parallel with the deck. So when there is high tide or a ship has to pass through, the span will be lifted up and this will be an automatic electric operated one.