TBM S-63 Makes a Breakthrough for Mumbai Metro Line-3 at Dharavi

A few minutes ago, Tunnel Boring Machine S-63 operated by the J Kumar Infraprojects – China Railway Tunnel Group JV made a breakthrough at Dharavi station’s northern-end on Mumbai Metro’s 33.5 km Aqua Line (Line-3).

This was S-63’s second (and final) breakthrough, J Kumar – CRTG’s fifth (and penultimate) breakthough for the 4.94 km Dharavi – CSIA T1 package UGC-05, and overall Line-3’s 27th breakthrough.

This Ø6.61m Terratec Earth Pressure Balance TBM, nicknamed Godavari-3, previously saw action in Delhi to build its new Pink Line (package CC-20 / CC-24) for the 162 km Phase 3 project, and was then extensively refurbished and retooled for Mumbai’s geological conditions at a yard located in Mundka.

It successfully passed factory acceptance testing (FAT) in July 2017 and was then brought to Mumbai where it was first commissioned to build the 888m down-line from Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) to Vidya Nagari in September 2018. After its breakthrough in March 2019, it was brought back to BKC for its final assignment to build the 1504m down-line tunnel towards Dharavi Station.

Route of UGC-05 (Dharavi – CSIA Terminal 1) – view Mumbai Metro info & map
Waiting… – Photo Copyright: Prateek Chaddha
Boom! – Photo Copyright: Prateek Chaddha
Photo Copyright: Prateek Chaddha
Photo Copyright: Prateek Chaddha

The TBM on its 1504m journey passed right beneath the Mithi river at a depth of 8-12m below the riverbed. Here are a few images shot by noted author & journalist Rajendra B. Aklekar last month –

Mithi river signboard posted on a tunnel ring – Photo Copyright: Raj Aklekar
Photo Copyright: Raj Aklekar
TBM operator’s cabin – Photo Copyright: Raj Aklekar

Package UGC-05 now has just 1 more breakthrough pending, also at Dharavi Station, for the up-line tunnel connecting to BKC. Here’s a table displaying its tunneling plan (best viewed on a desktop device) and the status of each tunnel –

1UpVidya NagriCSIA T12895mCompleted
Apr 17 ’19
2DownVidya Nagri CSIA T12873mCompleted
Nov 12 ’19
3DownBKCVidya Nagri888mCompleted
Mar 19 ’19
4UpBKCVidya Nagri 886mCompleted
April 19 ’19
4UpBKCDharavi1462mIn Progress

Upcoming breakthroughs in March-April include:

• Package UGC-02: CST → Mumbai Central (up-line tunnel, 3825m)
• Package UGC-05: BKC → Dharavi (up-line tunnel, 1462 m)

For more updates, check out the Mumbai section of The Metro Rail Guy!


written by

Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

8 Responses to "TBM S-63 Makes a Breakthrough for Mumbai Metro Line-3 at Dharavi"

  1. Rupraj Sengupta says:

    Fascinating progress in 2.5years,of start of tunnel boring!

  2. Mayur says:

    How many breakthroughs are left overall?

    • TMRG says:

      14 more to go. 5 of them are on UGC-03 (Mumbai Central – Worli). That package’s tunneling is the long rope and will likely be the last to get completed in 2021.

      • S.V.Phene says:


        You are 100 % right.
        I do not know how MMRCL claims that there are total 32 Breakthrus and they have achieved 26.

        Any way in my mind as the balance tunnelling for MM3,package 3 ie Mumbai Central to Worli is the real issue.

        The Contractor Dogus Soma has just completed the Science Museum to Worli section that too one line.

        They are just starting one line from Science Museum to Mahalaxmi.

        What is being ignored is the Mumbai Central to Mahalaxmi section.

        If MMRCL and Contractors continue to deploy only two TBMs ( as they are doing today) there is no way tunnelling for pacakage 3 will be over before June 21.

        Further I hear that Indian Partner Soma is going thru financial crisis ( possibly reference to NCLT),if this is true then MMRCLwill have to find new Contractors which means further delays .

        In my view besides Aarey Car Shed ,non performing Contractors Dogus Soma for Package 3 will be the prime cause of delay in completion of the MM3 project.

        Your views please.


        • TMRG says:

          Agreed! I hear that L&T – STEC from UGC-07 will be brought in to build both Mahalaxmi – M Central tunnels. Trying to get confirmation if this is true and what their timelines will look like.

          UGC-02 (CST – M Central)’s tunneling works through south Mumbai are about to wrap up soon, but station work will take time due to the delayed rehab of local residents.

          I think all contractors can find comfort in the Aarey issue.

  3. S.V.Phene says:

    Mr TMRG,

    As per my understanding following breakthroughs are pending in MM3

    1Package 1
    a ) Hutatma Chowk. -2
    b) CSMT – 2

    2 Package 2
    Mumbai Central -1

    3 Package 3
    a ) Worli -1
    b) Science
    Museum to Mahalakshmi -2
    c) Mumbai Central- Mahalakshmi- 2

    4 Package 4
    Siddhivinayak to Dadar -2

    5 Package 5
    a BKC – Dharvi 1

    All the above make 13 breakthroughs pending.
    There is no breakthroughs pending in package 7.

    I have no clue about package 6 specially about CSMI 1- Santacruz section.

    Can you throw some ‘light’ on pending breakthroughs in package 6?

    And how do the pending breakthroughs in MM3 are 14 as per you.
    My guess is that they are at least 14 or more.

    Certainly many more than 5 (32-27) as claimed
    by MMRCL !


    S V Phene

    • TMRG says:

      Hi, yup – definitely more than 32. Not sure how or why they reported that number.

      UGC-01 has 3 pending. 1 at Hutatma Chowk and 2 at CST. L&T’s Robbins TBM-2 will bore straight from Churchgate to CST through Hutatma Chowk’s station box.

      J Kumar on UGC-06 has 2 pending at CSIA T1 from Sahar Road.

      So from UGC-01 to UGC-07, we have 3+1+5+2+1+2+0 = 14 pending


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *