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BMC floats tender for new contractor for project stalled due to stuck tunnel boring machine

The Ghatkopar-Powai-Veravali water supply tunnel project has been facing delay after a tunnel boring machine (TBM) excavating the tunnel between Powai and Ghatkopar got stuck in 2019.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
November 26, 2021 9:57:24 pm
BMC water project stalled, TBM stuck in tunnel, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Mumbai news, Maharashtra news, Indian express newsThe stuck TBM in the tunnel. (Express photo)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has floated a tender for appointment of a new contractor to finish the incomplete work on Ghatkopar-Powai-Veravali water supply tunnel project. The 6.6-km project has been facing delay after a tunnel boring machine (TBM) excavating the tunnel between Powai and Ghatkopar got stuck in 2019. The finalised agency will also be tasked with removing the stuck TBM, officials said.

The project had taken off in 2012 and so far, has seen at least two extensions and cost escalation up to Rs 263 crore from initial Rs 183 crore. Now, the civic body will have to spend about Rs 350 crore to finish the remaining work of nearly 3-km of tunneling with the help of a new TBM. The work of dismantling and removing the stuck TBM and finishing the remaining tunneling will take another three years to complete, officials said.

“Project has seen a cost escalation as now a new machine will be brought in for the remaining tunnel work. In the new contract, the design, planning and construction will be done by the agency and in case of any accidents, they (the agency) will have to bear the cost,” said an official from BMC.

After the boring machine was stuck in 2019, the BMC approached several experts to get it safely removed but not to much success.
The German-made TBM, which is 50-meter long and 2.8-meters in diameter, got stuck in slush after excavating up to 1.2-km towards Ghatkopar.

Of the 6.6-km tunnel project, the BMC has completed 2.2-km from Powai to Veravali, and work on another arm of 4.4-km from Powai to Ghatkopar is underway. Once completed, the project is expected to improve water supply in suburban areas such as Powai, Ghatkopar and Jogeshwari and help in curbing water wastage due to old and corroded pipelines.

“The new TBM will be lowered a few meters away from the existing site where the old one is stuck,” said another official from the Water Supply Projects department.

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