Valiant effort of the Indian Army prevented a bridge collapse on the Chakki river over the Pathankot-Jogindernagar rail route in Himachal Pradesh, the armed forces said on Wednesday.

After flash floods and torrential rains washed away a rail bridge on the Chakki river in Kangra district, the Army was called in by the civil administration to prevent the at-risk road traffic bridge adjacent to the washed away rail bridge.

Significant sections of the railway bridge on the Chakki river collapsed after repeated flash floods on August 20. The gushing waters caused severe erosion of piers at the Chakki bridge leading to its collapse.

As the rail bridge was washed away, the fury of the water accelerated soil erosion towards the piers of the adjacent 500m roadway bridge. The only way to protect the road bridge, the major link road to Dharamsala from Pathankot, was to divert the forceful waters, the Army said.

At the request of the district administration of Kangra, the Rising Star Corps mobilised a column of heavy earth moving equipment in record time and immediately commenced the operation for diversion of the waters of the Chakki river and prevent further erosion.

Civil equipment of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) were also operated by Army personnel to augment the diversion efforts. Simultaneously, the Army engineers secured the piers of the road bridge using ingenious methods planned and executed over a distance of almost 1000m.

More than 20 heavy earth-moving equipment working round the clock for 96 hours, concentrating all efforts and maximising their output, ensured that the Chakki riber Bridge was made safe. The efforts were also in coordination with the NHAI.

The untiring efforts of the Rising Star Corps in torrential currents exceeding eight knots through deep channels in the Chakki river ensured that a disaster was avoided and the lifeline of Kangra district and a strategically important bridge connecting Punjab to Leh was made safe, it added.