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Vidyasagr Setu

The bridge is named after the 19th century Bengali reformist Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. The bridge also has sister bridges over the river at different points, namely the Howrah Bridge (Rabindra Setu) and the Vivekananda Setu.

The Vidyasagar Setu is a cable-stayed bridge, with a main span of a little over 457 metres, and a deck 35 metres wide. Construction started in 1978 and the bridge was finally inaguarated on the 10th of October, 1992. The commissioning agency was the Hooghly River Bridge Commission (HRBC) and the contractors for the construction was the consortium of Braithwaite, Burn and Jessop also called BBJ.














2nd Hooghly Bridge ) A modern marvel across the south west end of the city. linking it with shibpore in Howrah. Vidyasagar Setu, also known as second Hooghly Bridge, a Golden Gate Bridge which connects the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah. The morning scenes of slipping Kolkata from this bridge is simply mind blowing. With 9 lanes of traffic routes the bridge is capable of handling more than 85,000 vehicles every day.

It was built to reduce vehicular pressure from the latter. The construction work took 22 years and cost Rs. 3.88 billion and finally it was opened to traffic officially on 10th October 1992. It is a most sophisticated engineering marvel and the world's third largest cable-stayed bridge. Supported by 121 wire cables, it is 457 m. long and 115 m. wide. This graceful structure stands on four pylons, on a foundation that is 100 m. deep. It affords a panoramic view of the Calcutta skyline. The Vidyasagar Setu or the second Hooghly Bridge spans over the Hooghly River linking Calcutta to its twin city of Howrah and on to Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. This is a toll bridge and gives a fast connection from downtown Kolkata to the Botanical Gardens (which has the world's biggest banyan tree) and the Bengal Engineering College.

To say something about Kolkata and its twin city of Howrah, one must admit the vital role played by the Vidyasagar Setu, Kolkata regarding transportation. Kolkata the former capital of the British Indian Empire and now an emerging commercial center is a riverine city. Kolkata and its twin city of Howrah located on the other side of the river slowly became populous and industrialized at the end of the 19th century. A bridge was built in the 1940's which later became the famous Howrah Bridge to facilitate traffic. But after India's independence commercial activity and population increased rapidly. Since there was one major link namely the Howrah Bridge connecting Howrah and Kolkata there was tremendous volume of traffic through it and was simply overburdened.

It was decided to build a second bridge over the river to ease this burden and also to make a second link to Howrah. It also connects to the major cities of Mumbai (Bombay), Delhi and Chennai (Madras) through the national highways located close to the bridge. Thus, Vidyasagar Setu was born also popularly known as the second Hoogly bridge in Kolkata. It was christened "Vidyasagar Setu" after the country's greatest educationist-reformer and freedom fighter, Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. The work was commissioned in 1992 under the aegis of Hoogly River Bridge Commission and is a toll bridge. The work was completed by a consortium of India PSU's and private firms under the consultancy of S&P Germany and FFP of the UK.

This graceful bridge is unique in structure as it is the largest cable stayed bridge in Asia and the third largest cable stayed bridge in the world. It is supported by 121 wire cables with a span of 457 metres. This bridge stands gracefully on a foundation that is 100 metres deep on four pylons. It took 22 years to construct at a cost of Rs3.88 billion and was officially opened to traffic on 10th October 1992. The bridge can handle more than 85000 vehicles a day. As you travel over the bridge you can get a beautiful glimpse of the city of Kolkata along with the number of ferries plying below it on the river. Another sightseeing place is the Botanical Gardens famous for its biggest banyan tree in the world at Shibpur, Howrah which can be reached easily through the Vidyasagar Setu, Kolkata. A view of the rising and setting sun is simply breathtaking from the bridge!


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