Bullet train project: Bids invited for 21-km tunnel connecting two cities

Published on Sep 24, 2022 12:50 AM IST

In a major boost to the bullet train project, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has invited tenders for the construction of a 21-km tunnel that will connect Mumbai to Ahmedabad

Bullet train project: Bids invited for 21-km tunnel connecting two cities
Bullet train project: Bids invited for 21-km tunnel connecting two cities
ByAnkita G Menon, Mumbai

In a major boost to the bullet train project, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has invited tenders for the construction of a 21-km tunnel that will connect Mumbai to Ahmedabad. This includes a seven-km-long under-sea tunnel across Thane creek between Shilphata in Kalyan and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).

The last date for submission of bids is January 19, 2023.

The under-sea tunnel, a first in the country, will be built using a tunnel boring machine (TBM) and the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM). It will be a single tube tunnel to accommodate twin tracks for both up and down trains. As part of the tender package, 39 equipment rooms at 37 locations will also be constructed along the tunnel.

“The 21-km tunnel will be around 25-65 metres deep and the deepest point will be 114 metres below Parsik hill near Shilphata. Special TBMs with a cutter head width of 13.1 metres will be used for this project. After preparing a 16-km stretch with three TBMs, NATM will be used for the remaining five km. As the end between Ghansoli and Shilphata is inclined it will require NATM,” an official from NHSRCL said.

The tunnel begins at Shilphata, goes through Ghansoli and across the Thane Creek and then enters Vikhroli before ending at BKC.

This project was expected to be completed by 2023 but due to hurdles in land acquisition and the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been delayed.

The entire Ahmedabad-Mumbai route will have 12 stations - eight in Gujarat and four in Maharashtra. The stations in Gujarat are Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati while those in Maharashtra are BKC, Thane, Virar, and Boisar.

In 2019, NHSRCL first invited tenders but didn’t attract any bidder. It again floated tenders in November 2021 for the underground tunnelling work, but it was cancelled due to administrative reasons.

In July this year, the bids for the design and construction of the underground BKC station were floated. The last date for the bid is October 20.

The project was sanctioned in December 2015 at an estimated cost of 10.8 lakh crore.

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