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Know everything about the recently accomplished Barsi bridge on the Manali-Leh route, at a glance!

By Priti Kumari

NEW DELHI: India's pride BRO creating records in engineering back to back, is again in limelight because of its another creation 'Darcha-Barsi truss bridge' at an altitude of 11,020ft in the Manali-Leh highway.

The 360m long Darcha-Leh bridge is constructed across the Bhaga river, one of the important tributaries of river Chenab other than Chandra. At a cost of INR 27.25 crore, BRO's 70 Road Construction Company finalised it in almost 10 years. It has also built a 100 m steel truss bridge which connects the north of Atal Tunnel under the Rohtang Pass, inaugurated recently. The strongest bridge on the Manali-Leh highway holds the title of being India's second-longest steel bridge. The Col Chewang Rinchen Setu on the Shyok river, on the way to the world's highest landing ground at Daulat Beg Oldie(DBO), Ladakh. It must be kept in mind that before this, the Manali-Leh highway had a temporary bridge which got blocked during the rainy season.

According to the source privy to the matter, "every year the water rise in Bhaga river used to wash away the temporary bridge, which the BRO used to lay each time for the mobility of the Indian army to Leh-Ladakh. The span of the river, which got widened to 360 metres, was a challenge but the BRO has set an example to lay a permanent steel bridge".

A BRO official commenting on this said the river Bhaga originates from Suraj Tal, a few kilometres south of the Baralacha Pass. He also highlighted the small old unpaved track bridge. Traffic was interrupted when floods, rock hazards, or river water surged, mainly during rains. The mere way to overcome this problem is to build a permanent bridge well above the river. This area is about 33 km ahead of Keylong in the Lahaul region from Darcha Leh. This is the alternate route from the highway to Kargil-Vila Padum & the last permanent way to this route in Himachal.

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