Work begins on India’s first undersea rail tunnel

Work on India’s first undersea rail tunnel – part of the bullet train project – has begun with a testing

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | January 17, 2018 | Mumbai


#NHSRC   #Shinkansen technology   #National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited   #Japan   #Narendra Modi   #bullet train   #undersea rail tunnel  
Work begins on India’s first undersea rail tunnel (Photo and map: NHSRC)
Work begins on India’s first undersea rail tunnel (Photo and map: NHSRC)

The bullet train, the big-ticket headline-grabbing project now firmly under way, includes an engineering marvel: the country’s first undersea rail tunnel. It will come up just north of Mumbai, near Thane Creek. 
 
The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRC), the implementing agency for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor, completed ‘static refraction testing’ for the undersea tunnel on December 24. The test involved firing high-energy sound waves towards the seabed from below the surface of the water and mapping the resultant refracted sound waves to determine the density of the rock under the seabed. 
 
To ascertain soil strength, exploration for undersea tunnel was carried out 70 metres below ground level. As many as 66 bore holes with a gap of 250 metres between each pair have been drilled in a staggered fashion (that is, alternating diagonally) on its alignment with Japanese jack-up well equipment. Soil strength has turned out to be good and now construction will be carried out 40-45 metres below the seabed.
 
“Only a very dense rock can safely support a tunnel of the present nature. The study has now been taken to Tokyo. After its analysis by Kawasaki Geological Engineering Co and Indian Geotechnical Services the findings will be available by second week of January. Thereafter, Japan International Consortium for Transportation Co. Ltd. (JIC) will do the designing of the underground corridor,” says UP Singh, chief project manager, NHSRC.
 
Seven km out of the 21 km of the twin-track underground tunnel will pass under the seabed, mangroves and marshlands on either side of the creek. A stretch of 1.8 km of these seven kilometres will be constructed under the seabed. NHSRC and RITES, a railway ministry organisation, have also completed the survey of mangroves around the creek using the light detection and ranging (LIDAR) scanner, a data recorder and other equipment with a 100 megapixel camera. This aerial-survey method provides accurate data about land contours, buildings and vegetation.
 
The project corridor will begin at the underground station in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai and then traverse 21 km underground within seven-eight minutes before emerging above ground near Shilphata Diva Naka. It will end at the Sabarmati station in Ahmedabad.
 
According to NHSRC, a 100-member design team is working on tweaking the engineering of Japan’s Shinkansen technology to make it work in Indian conditions. 
 
The prime minister’s office (PMO) has sought weekly updates on the progress of the project, and engineers are working round the clock to ensure that prime minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project is implemented on time, says Singh.
 

Plans are being prepared by JIC and construction is expected to start in the third quarter of 2018 with tunnelling work, execution of stations and construction of bridges. Three tunnel-boring machines will be deployed. Ventilation shafts will be put up at every 7.5 km of the tunnel to give an outlet for fumes emitted by the bullet train. The shafts will also be used for transporting out debris and muck generated due to digging which will be recycled by environmental consultants.
 
“With the 21-km tunnel going underground, problems of relocation will not arise, but old buildings en route will have to be strengthened,” adds Singh.
Meanwhile, relocation of utilities is going on and NHSRC is setting up a High Speed Railway Training Institute in Vadodara. The institute will provide training for systems and maintenance operations to the personnel, beginning with 4,000 staff members.
 
The Rs 1,10,000 crore project is expected to be a reality by August 15, 2022 – the 75th Independence Day. The underground tunnel construction is estimated to cost Rs 3,500 crore. 
geetanjali@governancenow.com
(This article appears in January 31, 2108 edition)

Comments

 

Other News

Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban a way forward for sustainable sanitation

"Sanitation is more important than independence". --Mahatma Gandhi The world is moving towards global transformation and sanitation is an important aspect in the development of any country. The United Nations (UN) has observed in 2015-16 that 19.7%

Media taking advantage of a divided Bollywood: Shatrughan Sinha

Legendary film star and politician Shatrughan Sinha has said that friendship in Bollywood is limited to onscreen, and there is no unity and some news channels are taking advantage of this situation. “Groups within the industry or their supporters may sometimes come together for some c

‘2.40 lakh TB cases went unreported in India in 2019’

In India, only 2.40 million out of an estimated 2.64 million cases of tuberculosis were reported to the government, that is, 2,40,000 TB patients went unreported, in 2019, according to the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2020. The reporting of TB cases, however, has significantly increased ov

We must fight for Right to Information

Fifteen years back, the Right To Information (RTI) Act became operational on October 12, 2005. It was the auspicious day of Vijayadashmi. It appeared to herald a new evolution in Indian democracy. Citizens who had been advocating this law saw an opportunity of converting India’s defective elective de

Uddhav shoots back at governor’s sarcasm

As Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari went sarcastic and wrote to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, asking him if he had turned ‘secular’ – an epithet he hated, as the places of worship remain closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic; the Shiv Sena chief replied he did not need certificat

4 info panels headless as RTI completes 15 years

When it was launched on October 12, 2005, the Right to Information Act ushered in a revolution, empowering common citizens to ask questions on a range of government activities and seek accountability. Over the years, they – especially a new breed of activists – made good use of the new law, to

India Police Virtual Summit and Awards 2020

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter