Pune metro digging its way to completion, tunnel boring machine set to begin underground stretch
The parts for the tunnel bring machine (TBM) which will be used to dig the underground stretch from Agriculture College at Shivajinagar to Swargate will arrived in the city on Wednesday. The machine and its parts reached Wakad on Tuesday evening after covering 160 kilometres via the Pune-Mumbai expressway.
Brijesh Dixit, managing director, Maha-Metro said, “The TBM machines have been customised as per the geological structure of the city. Pune has basalt for up to 30 meters deep. We are confident of meeting deadlines as the electrification work is also going on at great speed.”
The machine was brought to Pune from Mumbai’s JNPT port after it landed there from China on November 13. The Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha-Metro) has already completed digging a 18-metre deep shaft at the Agriculture college ground where the metro rail will go underground. On the Swargate-Nigdi line, a total of 5.02 kilometre, is the underground metro stretch.
Hemant Sonawane, general manager, PR, Maha-Metro, said, “The deadline for us to start the tunnelling is December 21. Also, the TBM’s can tunnel around 6-7 meters per day. The concrete tube and the debris clearance take place at the same time.”
Once the TBM is assembled completely, it will be lowered at the Agriculture ground site using the shaft. Maha-Metro, which is executing the project is in the process of digging a similar tunnel at Swargate.
According to officials, these parts imported from China have arrived in 18 trailers (vehicles) and will be drawn down the shaft at Shivajinagar and will take at least 15-20 days to be assembled and then, the drilling process will start.
Officials said that due to traffic and congestion at Swargate, the shaft is yet to be completed.
Metro officials said that the trucks carrying the TBM parts covered only 30-40 kilometers per day as they occupied two of the three carriageways on the expressway. The trailers were checked at regular intervals to ensure that they are smoothly functioning under such heavy weight.
Out of the 18 trailers, three carried parts of the main machine, which reached the city on Wednesday.
Currently, the status of the PCMC to Swargate stretch work is on schedule. Metro officials agreed that the work on Reach I between PCMC and Swargate is being given more priority than Reach II between PMC and Ramwadi as Maha-Metro believes that there would be more traffic on the Reach I stretch.
Till now, about 11.4 kilometers of tracks have been laid in Reach I stretch. The work of Over Head Equipment is also going on in full speed, as 55 tubular portals have been laid at a distance of about 30-35 meters apart from each other.
The substations at Vallabhnagar and Hill View park is almost over which will supply power to the metro.
Line – I
Swargate to Nigdi
Total distance: 16.59km
Total stations: 16
Underground stretch – Shivajinagar to Swargate
Distance for underground stretch- 5.02 km
Stations: Shivajinagar, Civil Court, Budhwar Peth, Mandai, Swargate
About Tunnelling at Agriculture college:
TBM will be lowered through shaft
Shaft is 18metre deep with 25x25 wide
Shaft work complete
TBM will be lowered through shaft
Shaft is 22metre deep with 25x25 wide
Shaft work still underway
One TBM will enter from Agriculture college, another from Swargate
Both the tunnels will meet at Kasba Peth
Line – II
Vanaz to Ramwadi
Entire stretch is elevated
Total distance: 14.66 km
Total stations: 14