Kolkata Metro update: Entire TBM tunneling completed for East-West Metro project

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The tunneling work gets completed by Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) in East West Metro Corridor with the breakthrough of “Urvi“ at Bowbazar, Kolkata on 15.05.2021. With this breakthrough the entire TBM tunneling for the Kolkata East-West Metro Project is completed. The stretch was difficult for tunneling work as it had century old buildings.

  • This challenging tunnel drive of 800m has been completed successfully amidst this pandemic situation following COVID-19 protocol.
  • The TBM ‘Urvi’ which had earlier completed East Bound tunnel from Esplanade to Sealdah on 09.10.2020 was relaunched from Sealdah after necessary refurbishment and inspection on 09.01.2021 to complete the balance 800 m tunneling work in West Bound tunnel from Sealdah to Bowbazar.
  • This drive of tunneling has been completed and the TBM break through at Retrieval Shaft at Bowbazar has been achieved on 15.05.2021.
  • This TBM [Urvi] has passed below Sealdah Flyover also for which vehicular movement on the Fly over was closed for 3 days for safety reasons.
  • After completion of this TBM drive, the TBM ‘Urvi’ along with the other stalled TBM ‘Chandi’ will be retrieved from this retrieval shaft at Bowbazar.
  • Excavation of shaft after ensuring the water tightness of the shaft and the affected tunnel and retrieval of the TBMs are intricate activities which have to be done safely and hence will take time.
  • After completion of entire excavation, both the TBMs will be retrieved in pieces from the shaft.
  • The RCC flooring and roofing for the shaft area will be completed thereafter and the shaft top will be backfilled to prepare the ground for overground construction.

About East-West Metro:

  • The Kolkata East-West Metro Corridor Project is a crucial infrastructure project for sustainable development of Kolkata City and adjoining urban localities.
  • The project will ease traffic congestion and provide a cleaner mobility solution to lakhs of daily commuters.
  • It will provide seamless connectivity to Kolkata, Howrah and Salt Lake through Rail-based mass rapid Transit system.
  • It will also integrate all other modes of transport like Metro, Railways and bus transport by constructing efficient and seamless transport interchange hubs.
  • The project envisages construction of 16.6 Km long Metro Railway Corridor including a tunnel below river Hooghly which is the 1st transportation tunnel in India under any major river as well as Howrah Station which is one of the deepest Metro stations in India.

Current Status:

  • The project will be implemented by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited which is a CPSE under Ministry of Railways.
  • Estimated completion cost of the project is – Rs. 8575 crore with Ministry of Railway’s share as Rs.3268.27 crore, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ share as Rs.1148.31 crore and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) loan of Rs.4158.40 crore.
  • 5.3 km long  elevated corridor is already commissioned since 14.02.2020.
  • Further 1.67 Km commissioned on 05.10.2020.
  • The target date for completion of the entire project is December, 2021.

Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit: MoR

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