Who can forget the year 2013 when humanity saw one of the worst natural disasters in the history of India. Due to cloudbursts in the state of Uttarakhand, the flash floods in river Ganga and landslides washed away thousands of lives. The Kedarnath bridge at Sonprayag also washed out due to heavy floods. The death toll and destruction was so massive that it left the region devastated.
Subsequently, a Bailey Bridge (a portable, pre-fabricated, truss bridge) was built by the Border Roads Organisation, limiting the traffic to one way and a maximum load of 12 tonnes at the most. But June 2015 saw more floods and this bridge was also washed away.
Since the Temple is 3500 feet above sea level and is situated in challenging topography, the construction of a stronger flawless bridge required more than 3 years to build. Further, since the bridge was to be built in such difficult conditions, it would have been impossible to regularly protect or maintain.
It was decided finally that the new bridge has to be made of galvanized steel to ensure that it does not collapse. But Galvanizing in this remote town was not easily available.
Thus, the galvanized bridge was shipped in containers from the USA, completed and became operational in an incredible 45 days. In the new bridge, all the panel chords, diagonals, verticals, raker, reinforcing chords along with all the structural beam members and flooring were hot dip galvanized.
Another testimony of the strength of Zinc. We all have Zinc in our lives.
Hindustan Zinc is India’s only and world’s leading Zinc-Lead-Silver Producer.
(Pavan Kaushik heads Corporate Communications at Hindustan Zinc)
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the article are solely of the author in personal capacity.