India’s first underwater rail tunnel: Kolkata Time to map inside water #Hindustan360

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The construction of first underwater rail tunnel is complete and the most amazing part of it is that it happened ahead of the schedule. The deadline was July 2017. View more at #Hindustan360.

Construction of awaited underwater rail project on the Hooghly river has completed before the end of completion time. The underwater rail tunnel construction project, commencing in Kolkata, West Bengal, has finished few days before the article News goes on air and therefore the July scheduled deadline.

Underwater tunnel project 14.67 km long, 30 m beneath the watercourse bed of Hooghly runs underground for 10.8 km. The project has 6 underground stations to attach Howrah and Salt Lake from the whole of 12 stations. The estimated cost for the project come up around INR 50 billion. The project had slated for initial begin in 2012 and so delayed to 2015.

Metro will run at a frequency of 2.5-5 minutes at maximum speed of 90 km/hr. First lot of 14 trains manufactured in Spain and the next lot of 14 trains construction is given to BEML. The metro project will connect Slat Lake and Howrah Station with 10 stops between them. These are Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Center, Bengal Chemical, Salt Lake Stadium, Phoolbagan, Sealdah, Esplanade, Mahakaran, Howrah Station and last Howrah Maidan.

In 2004, Pacific Consultant International Group structured the route underneath the Hooghly river. The master plan was first known in 1971 and currently finally, shifted to urge completed up to the end of 2019 year. Mott MacDonald, design consultant, is functioning on the designs of all the elevated stations. Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects are working on designs of all the underground stations. Elevated stations construction work is given within the hands of the Kolkata based Simplex Infrastructure Ltd.

The companies responsible for digging the country’s first tunnel under the Hooghly River for establishing metro link between Howrah and Kolkata are Afcons Transtonnelstroy and Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd.

About the project

  • The total length of the entire metro project is 16.6 km long, out of which 10.8 km runs under the ground. Of this 10.8 km, 502 metres is under the water
  • The metro rail project connects Howrah to the west and Salt Lake to the east
  • Afcons Transtonnelstroy is responsible for building the project while KMRCL will implement it
  • The stretch of 16.6 km will have 12 stations, six of which will be under the ground, while the remaining six metro stations will be on elevated tracks
  • The final commissioning of the project is scheduled by December 2019, following which it will be operational
  • The total project cost is USD 750 million

Machine used for digging the underwater tunnel

Rachna, a giant tunnel-boring machine (TBM), was deployed to dig the underwater tunnel that runs a length of 502 metres under the river. The machine was brought from Herrenknecht AG plant in Schwanau, Germany.

Delays faced

Since the beginning, the project was held up several times mainly due to land allocation, slum relocation and route alignment problems among others. The project was originally slated to be completed by 2012. It was first postponed to 2015 and finally to December 2019.

Under the Phase-2 of the project, started in March 2016, a section between Howrah Maidan and Mahakaran station built by using two tunnel boring machines from Herrenknecht. Afcons-Transtonnelstroy, an Indo-Russian JV team is functioning on that section of 520 meters stretch at Howrah Maidan.

Credit goes to 250 engineers, technicians and workers, worked day and night to finish the task before the expected completion time. Hopefully expected that final commission could meet the deadlines by the tip of 2019 for making underwater tunnel.

View more at #Hindustan360.