L&T Lowers Indian-Flag Themed Cutterhead for Mumbai’s Coastal Road

Larsen & Toubro and Freight Wings on Wednesday lowered a 300 MT cutterhead of TBM Mavala – the largest tunnel boring machine (TBM) to ever be deployed in India – at the Priyadarshini Park launch ramp for building twin 1,920m tunnels of Mumbai’s 29.2 km Coastal Road (Western Freeway) project.

This slurry TBM with diameter of 12.19m, sporting an Indian-flag themed cutterhead, was manufactured by China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Co. Ltd. (CRCHI) and arrived in Mumbai’s Priyadarshini Park neighborhood in April 2020.

Assembly works on it commenced in September on reclaimed land just 250 meters away from the launch ramp. In November, Freight Wings transported three backup gantry parts and its newly assembled shields (weighing 1500 MT) over to the launch ramp, and then lowered them into the ramp one by one in early December.

Larsen & Toubro will deploy Mavala on the MCRP’s 3.93 km Package-4 for constructing 12m wide twin (3 + 3 lane) tunnels under Malabar Hill (75m deep) and Girgaum Chowpatty (25m deep) between Priyadarshini Park and Marine Drive in South Mumbai. Details on the expected geology can be viewed here.

Alignment of the tunnel in navy blue

The cutterhead was lifted and lowered using a combination of self-propelled modular transporter (SPMTs) and strand jack system with synchronized tilting / lifting operation.

The cutterhead of four smaller TBMs supplied by CRCHI to L&T for Bangalore Metro’s Phase 2 project also have an Indian flag-themed cutterhead. Three of those have been commissioned (Urja, Avni and Vindhya) with the final TBM, Lavi, getting prepared for commissioning by month-end.

Lowered into position!

With this development, Freight Wings’ entire scope of transportation and launching of backup gantries and TBM has been completed. They will now dismantle their strand jack system and reassemble it at Girgaum Chowpatty in Q3 2021 to retrieve the TBM’s parts and then transport the machine back to the Priyadarshini Park Ramp for constructing the parallel tunnel.

Per BMC, L&T will use Mavala to excavate around 3 meters/day, with a total excavation time of 276 days to complete both tunnels. However, per a comment left behind in the prior post by Sandeep, who claims to be associated with the project, they’re aiming for 9 meters/day.

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

14 Responses to "L&T Lowers Indian-Flag Themed Cutterhead for Mumbai’s Coastal Road"

  1. Himanshu Doria says:

    To be honest, it looks like Irish-flag themed, not Indian flag themed.

  2. Kanishka says:

    …with that you can start providing updates on how’s the Expressways taking shape in India, to name a few:

    Purvanchal Exp.
    Dwarka Exp.
    Mumbai Coastal Road

    …or extend the blog further to the National Projects of IR:
    Kashmir Rail Line
    Rail line to connect the capitals of Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Sikkim…

    all such projects are keenly watched & tracked by the enthusiasts/observers..

    • TMRG says:

      You know what? 🙂 I’m actually thinking of tracking big-ticket infra contracts in 2021. My industry sources are solid, and just like metro projects, I often hear about the winners hours/days prior to it getting published in the mainstream media.

      If anyone reading this wants to join my network and help contribute to the site, just shoot me a message using the contact form: https://themetrorailguy.com/contact/

  3. Pankaj says:

    China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Co., Ltd
    that is supplier to L&T.Chinese equipment with a Indian flag.

  4. S Mahesh says:

    I mean no disrespect or offence, but seems a bit trivial and superficial. If the drilling equipment had been manufactured by L & T in India, we have every reason to be proud and thump our chests. Ironically we are having to depend on China despite having a billion population and dozens of engineering institutions. What’s happening to our entrepreneurial capabilities…I sometimes whether we as Indians are so programmed that we end up always looking out for jobs instead of starting up on our own.

    We have to shed our ego and self- denial and do some soul searching here.

    • Himanshu says:

      You mean we have to weit for Make in India till costuction delayed we are using chines mobiles and Appa up to last 3 months ago. We muat manufacture in India but our past govt.and industries started importing from China due to govt’s policy we are importing fertilisers.fertiliser new plants for agricultural.

    • TMRG says:

      I’d love to see an Indian manufacturer for smaller 6.5m dia TBMs. I think there’s definitely a business case to develop those for metro tunnels over such once-in-a-decade type of road tunnels.

  5. Peter Hook says:

    I agree with S. Mahesh.


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