In an important milestone towards the completion of the Metro 3, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) fabricated the first tunnel ring for the underground metro at its Wadala casting yard on Tuesday. These segment rings will help to strengthen the tunnel after being bored into by the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM).
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The 33.5-km line requires around 40,000 of these segments and they will be casted in 65 moulds. The TBMs will arrive in the city by July and the actual tunnelling work for the line is slated to commence by October. By the time the machines arrive, the MMRC intends to complete fabrication of 2,000 segments. They will be manufactured in six casting yards, of which four have been set up at Wadala, one at Darga and one at Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR).
The TBMs will dig twin tunnels for the entire length of the metro from Colaba to SEEPZ and MMRC plans to conduct 200 metre of tunnelling everyday. While each of the 17 TBMs costs around Rs 120 crore, the cost for tunnelling per kilometre comes close to Rs 600 crore.
Speaking at the occasion, Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, MMRC, said, “Tunnelling in Mumbai is full of challenges. However, with the help of advance technology and team of experts we will successfully complete this gigantic task. The MMRC will embark upon huge tunnelling activity and we will ensure that there is minimum inconvenience to Mumbaikars during our work.”
“We will invite tenders for the rolling stock by the end of this year and should procure them by 2019. We should ideally have the rolling stock a year before the metro is commissioned,” she added.