Afcons Infrastructure on Thursday celebrated tunnel boring machine S88’s first tunnel breakthrough at Meerut Central RRTS Station for the 82.15 km Delhi – Meerut RRTS project.
This 7.51m diameter Terratec Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) machine, nicknamed Sudarshan 8.1, was commissioned in March 2022 at Bhaisali RRTS Station. From there it travelled 1823.39 meters, for Package 8’s longest tunneling drive, towards Meerut Central Station. Along the way, it made a pit-stop at a mid-shaft located 695.85 meters south of Bhaisali Station.
Afcons was awarded Package 8’s Rs. 1529.10 crore contract in November 2020 with a 1310 day (3.6 year) deadline. Their scope includes constructing six twin tunnels from Brahampuri DN Ramp to Begumpul UP Ramp with 3 underground stations at Meerut Central, Bhaisali & Begumpul by cut & cover method.
This was S88’s first breakthrough and Afcons Infrastructure’s second breakthrough. Back in mid-October their TBM S90 (Sudharshan 8.3) recorded its first breakthrough for Package 8 at Begumpul Station after tunneling roughly 750m from Begumpul UP Ramp located at Gandhi Park.
With this development, Afcons now has 4 more breakthroughs pending. TBM S88 will now be dismantled, taken back to Bhaisali, and relaunched to build a roughly 1 km tunnel towards Begumpul.
Overall, this was the third breakthrough for the RRTS project. Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. Ltd. (STEC) working on 5.6 km Package 4 had quietly recorded the entire project’s first breakthrough in early October at a mid-shaft south of Anand Vihar RRTS Station.
That event wasn’t publicized at all by National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) for obvious reasons. With the latest clash occurring at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang sector, I don’t expect any of their proper station breakthroughs to be publicized either.
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