Tag Archives: Chinese President Xi Jinping

World’s Longest Sea – Crossing Bridge Inaugurated


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Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated the world’s longest sea bridge connecting the financial centre of Hong Kong, the gambling hub of Macau and Zhuhai city on the mainland as Beijing steps up efforts to create a new economic base in southern China on October 23, 2018.

Described as a mega infrastructure project, the 55-km HKZM bridge, which includes a seven-kilometre underwater tunnel, was inaugurated within weeks of the opening of a high-speed rail link between Beijing and Hong Kong.

“I declare the officially open,” Xi said at an indoor ceremony in Zhuhai. He did not address the audience.

Built at a cost of $15 billion, work on the bridge began in 2009. It is expected to ease the movement of cargo between Hong Kong and southern China and boost tourism in the region.

Ahead of the inauguration, state media reported: “Made from enough steel to build 60 Eiffel Towers and enough concrete to construct 22 Chrysler Buildings, it can withstand magnitude-8 earthquakes, and is even prepared for super typhoons. This is something built to last a century of service.”

The bridge will be opened to the public on Wednesday, with state media reporting that it “will slash the travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from three hours to just 30 minutes”.

The bridge links Hong Kong’s Lantau island to Zhuhai and the gambling haven of Macau, across the waters of the heavily industrialised Pearl River estuary.

“The bridge will cut the once arduous journey from Zhuhai to Hong Kong, to just half an hour, but this is just a piece of the puzzle. With high-speed rail finally connecting Hong Kong to the mainland network and infrastructure projects in progress across the Pearl River Delta, this is about multiple mega-projects knitting together an entire region,” official Xinhua news agency reported.

Access to the bridge, however, will be restricted.

“Hong Kong residents will only be granted a licence to cross into Zhuhai by car if they meet highly selective criteria, including holding certain mainland government positions or making major contributions to charities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Most people will need to travel the bridge on coaches and buses,” Singapore-based Channel News Asia reported.

Building the bridge was not without its headaches, and the tunnel was one of them.

“Part of the bridge crosses two of Guangzhou Port’s shipping lanes,” Li Jiang, a project manager with HKZM Bridge Authority, explained to Xinhua. “If we were to build a bridge above these lanes, it would have to be very wide and tall.”

Compounding the problem, these shipping lanes pass right by Hong Kong airport, and any bridge tall enough to let ships pass would disrupt flight paths. “Building a tall bridge was not an option,” said Li, adding the tunnel was the solution.

“Technically speaking, we were at a loss in terms of existing long sea bridge projects that we could learn from,” said Luo Dong, vice general project manager for the Island and Tunnel Project of the bridge.

“The water conditions of the Pearl River Delta are so complicated. Building a bridge and tunnel system in this area was a real challenge.”

Courtesy: The Hindustan Times

Sabarmati River Front: Our home grown Thames River Front, London, well almost!

I was very keen to visit Sabarmati River Front while in Ahmedabad since the time I had seen it on Television; well all of us had seen PM Narendra Modiji hosting Chinese Preisdent Xi Jinping & his wife at Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad. The mini Gujarat created there caught entire nation’s fancy besides the walk in sprawling lawns of the river, wide promenade, and crystal clear waters and to top it all Gujarati dance performers performing all through. Who wouldn’t have loved to be there?

Finally after nearly two years of wait, I could make a trip to Ahmedabad along with my husband Mukund and daughter Tanya. My first concern was visiting Sabarmati River Front. Though it was not that easy, as I insisted our driver and guide rolled into one to take me to the same point where Chinese President was hosted by Modiji. He took us round town and finally we could spot one promenade where we spend time on drizzling evening.

Still I was not satisfied as it was nowhere close to what we had expected or seen on television, sensing that, driver promised me to show that spot next morning and he did. Voila! What a promenade it was on the banks of River Sabarmati?  We spend good amount of time enjoying the breeze and marvelling at outstanding amalgamation of nature and mankind.

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There is huge amount of construction activity going around Sabarmati, in fact in entire Ahmedabad, but London’s Eye on the promenade caught my fancy. May be in my next trip it is all on, so that we could have more fun.  The Sabarmati Riverfront Development has been envisaged as a comprehensive development of approximately 11 kilometres of length on both the banks of the Sabarmati River encompassing all its potentials as primary goals. The project approach is to bring about an overall environmental improvement, social upliftment and sustainable development along the Riverfront.

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In 1997, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) set up a Special Purpose Vehicle – Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Limited (SRFDCL) to manage the construction and development of the project.

Sabarmati Riverfront, proposed in 1960s, the construction began in 2005. Since 2012, the waterfront is gradually opened to public as and when facilities are constructed and various facilities are actively under construction. The major objectives of project are environment improvement, social infrastructure and sustainable development.

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The average width of the river channel was 382 metres (1,253 ft) and the narrowest cross-section 330 metres (1,080 ft). It is uniformly narrowed to 263 metres (863 ft) without affecting its flood carrying capacity and the riverbed land is reclaimed on the both east and west banks to construct 11.25 km long riverfront. It can hold 470,000 cu ft/s (13,000 m3/s) without spillage. The total of 202.79 hectares of land is reclaimed. The reclaimed land is used for public as well as private development. More than 85% of the reclaimed land will be used for public infrastructure, recreational parks, sports facilities and gardens while nearly 14% will be used for commercial and residential purpose.

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Sabarmati River has been an integral part in the life of Ahmedabad since the time the city was founded in 1411 along the river banks. Besides being an important source of water, it provided a backdrop to cultural and recreational activities. During the dry seasons, the river bed became a place for farming. With time it also offered place for various informal economic activities, and the river banks were used by informal squatter settlements.

It was truly dream come true for me.

Request Gujarat Tourism to do all out promotions so that it can emerge at most happening tourist spot in India, on the lines of River Thames in London.