Railways complete challenging tunnel drive of 800m in Kolkata inspite of Covid challenges

New Delhi: 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 Tunnel Boring Machine ‘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 tunnel boring machine break through at Retrieval Shaft at Bowbazar has been achieved yesterday i.e. 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 tunnel boring machine ‘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.