In a move aimed at finishing the import dependence for modular bridges, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and state-owned warship building firm Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for constructing 27 carriageway double lane galvanized modular bridges of 7.5 meters with Indian Road Congress (IRC) Load Class 70.

The two-year contract will include the fabrication, supply, erection, and launching of these 27 modular bridges. The deal, which is worth around Rs 60 crore, was signed by Director General BR Lt General Rajeev Chaudhry and Officiating Chairman & Managing Director of GRSE Commodore P R Hari IN (Retd) in New Delhi.

BRO’s Indigenous Double Lane Modular Bridge

In line with the clarion call of the PM Modi for self-reliance in defence sector and meeting the aspiration of India for better infrastructure, BRO had successfully trial evaluated an “Indigenous 140 feet Double Lane Modular Bridge” of IRC Load Class 70 last year, which was supplied by GRSE Ltd.

The bridge was constructed on strategically important “Flag Hill-Dokala” road in Sikkim at an altitude of 11,000 feet under Project Swastik of BRO. The state-of-art indigenous bridge was dedicated to the nation by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on December 28, 2021.

Following the successful trials, discussions were held between the two agencies to conclude this MoU. The double-lane Modular Steel Bridge developed by the GRSE is India’s only bridge that is 100 percent indigenous.

It is noteworthy that these bridges could be launched within 45 days of handing over the site by the units, as per the MoU. This is one of the most important and critical advantages of the MoU, which will certainly be a game-changer in India’s road infrastructure development.

Further, the construction of such modular bridges with IRC Load Class 70 classification will also bolster the operational preparedness of the Indian Armed forces in the strategic border areas.

BRO’s ‘Atal Tunnel’ Officially Certified As ‘World’s Longest Highway Tunnel

In a landmark ceremony, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) constructed engineering marvel ‘Atal Tunnel’ was recently certified as the ‘World’s Longest Highway Tunnel’ above 10,000 Feet by World Book of Records.

The ceremony that was held in New Delhi witnessed Director General of Border Roads Organisation (DGBR) Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry receiving the award for the stupendous achievement of the BRO in constructing the tunnel which connects Manali to the Lahaul – Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh.

It is noteworthy that, World Book of Records UK, is an organisation that catalogues and verifies extraordinary records across the globe with authentic certification.

Connecting Places-Connecting People

Nestled in Pir Panjal Ranges of the Himalayas, the visionary project of ‘Atal Tunnel’ is 9.02 km long & strategically significant. It runs under the ‘Rohtang Pass’(13,500 feet above sea level), which was constructed on the Manali – Leh Highway under the extremely challenging conditions of freezing cold in mountainous difficult terrain.

Notably, before the construction of the tunnel, the arterial road connecting Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh from the rest of India used to remain closed during the winter season for around 6 months. With the construction of the Atal tunnel, the distance on Manali – Sarchu road has been reduced by 46 km and travel time by 4-5 hours, providing all-weather connectivity on the Manali – Leh axis.

The construction of the state-of-art engineering marvel was a mammoth test of technical & engineering skills along with human endurance and machine efficacy. The tunnel has been constructed in extremely harsh and challenging terrain, wherein the temperature in winters drops to bone-chilling -25 degrees.

With fragile geology and hindrances like seepage of Seri Nala, causing the flood-like situation in the Atal Tunnel, accompanied with high overburden & excessive snowfall were some of the facets of construction challenges successfully surmounted by the BRO’s ‘Karmyogis’. The nation’s pride Atal Tunnel was dedicated to India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 03, 2020.

With the motto of ‘Connecting Places-Connecting People’, BRO has provided many engineering marvels to the nation besides offering the Indian Armed Forces – a strategic advantage by providing an alternate link to the critical Ladakh Sector.

When BRO’s World’s Highest Motorable Road Received ‘Guinness World Record’

On November 16, 2021, the Director-General Border Roads (DGBR), Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry received the Guinness World Records certificate for the achievement of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for constructing and blacktopping the world’s highest motorable road at 19,024 feet at Umlingla Pass in Ladakh.

BRO received the Guinness World Records certificate for the 52-kilometre long Chisumle to Demchok tarmac road. It passes through the 19,024 feet high Umlingla Pass and betters the previous record of a road in Bolivia, which connects volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 feet.

The Umlingla Pass road is another landmark in resurgent India’s achievement. It has been constructed at an altitude higher than the North and South Base Camps of Mount Everest which are at an altitude of 16,900 feet and 17,598 feet respectively.

BRO’s Strategically Important Bridges & Roads

With the view to improve border road connectivity in India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh later in the year 2021 dedicated 24 bridges and three roads, built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in four states and two Union Territories across the country. Besides that, Defence Minister also e-inaugurated Chisumle-Demchok road at Umling La Pass at over 19,000 feet in Ladakh which also holds the Guinness World Record of world’s highest motorable road.