Construction of GMLR twin tunnels in Mumbai likely to kick off by next year

As part of the construction of GMLR below Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai civic body has proposed a 4.75-km-long tunnel that will run under SGNP
Mumbai civic body is expected to start construction work on the much-awaited Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) underground tunnels by mid-2022. (HT PHOTO)
Mumbai civic body is expected to start construction work on the much-awaited Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) underground tunnels by mid-2022. (HT PHOTO)
Published on Nov 19, 2021 12:05 AM IST
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ByMehul R Thakkar

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is expected to start construction work on the much-awaited Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) underground tunnels by mid-2022. While the work on the twin tunnels will take time, BMC officials said the project of connecting Western and Eastern Express Highways with two flyovers will kick off in the next two months.

Officials said the project is currently at an advanced stage of tender and the bids are under scrutiny. Once the construction starts next year, the project may be ready by 2025.

Although the total cost of the project is pegged at over 6,000 crore, it is expected that the cost will go up considering the project is at the tender stage for two years.

As part of the construction of GMLR below the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), BMC has proposed 4.75-km-long tunnels that will run under SGNP. The reserved forest area affected by the tunnels is around 19.43 hectares. The tunnels will run 20 metres (m) below the ground level of the national park up to 200m at selected spots. GMLR is a 14-km-long east-west connector, beginning near the Western Express Highway at Goregaon, and ending near Nahur station in the East.

According to BMC officials, the tunnels will be dug with the tunnel boring machine (TBM) technology, which was used to dig the underground Metro-3 corridor and coastal road project.

P Velrasu, additional civic commissioner, said, “The tenders for GMLR tunnels is at an advanced stage and we will finalise them in the coming months.”

A BMC official from the bridges department said, “The construction of the tunnels is expected to start only by mid-2022. However, the two flyovers are expected to be approved by this month-end. By December end, work on these flyovers can take off.”

The GMLR project aims to improve east-west connectivity in the suburbs for which BMC had approached firms in Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong and other places.

Once appointed, stakeholders will draft the design and methodology to construct the tunnels. However, Chinese companies were barred from bidding for the project.

What is a TBM?

TBM is a highly-mechanised earth pressure balance (EPB) device that is used around 20-25 metres below the ground to construct tunnels with a circular cross-section.

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Thursday, January 20, 2022