Afcons’ Delhi-Meerut RRTS TBM S88 Relaunched from Bhaisali
Afcons Infrastructure this week recommissioned tunnel boring machine Sudarshan 8.1 (TBM S88) from Bhaisali Station to Begumpul Station for its final journey to build the 82.15 km Delhi – Meerut RRTS project’s underground tunnels.
This 7.51m diameter Terratec Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) machine on Package 8 had recorded its first breakthrough at Meerut Central Station in December 2022 after tunneling 1823m from Bhaisali Station.
Afcons took less than 2 months to retrieve the machine’s parts from Meerut Central, transport it back to Bhaisali, refurbish critical components (like cutter discs) and recommission it – which is about the average amount of time I’ve observed across urban tunneling projects in India.
National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) had awarded Afcons with 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.
For Bhaisali Station to Begumpul Station, the distance is roughly 1 km long which I expect should be covered in Q3 2023. This is Afcons’ 5th and penultimate tunneling drive. So far they’ve recorded 3 out of 6 breakthroughs, with the last one taking place at Meerut Central Station by TBM S89 (Sudarshan 8.2) earlier this month.
In other tunneling news, I hear Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. Ltd. (STEC) working on 5.6 km Package 4 recorded their 4th of 8 tunnel breakthroughs this past week at a vent shaft between Anand Vihar Station and New Ashok Nagar Ramp.
Their milestones aren’t being advertised by NCRTC for obvious reasons and there’s a gag-order placed on workers. I’ll post a quick update when images become available. If someone reading this has a snap or two, then contact me here.
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What are the reasons for the lack of publicity and the gag order?
It’s name itself is the reason. If you don’t know Shanghai is in China.
Financial bids were opened right when Galwan happened. I remember there being uncertainty over whether the contract would be awarded or not.