“A new chapter has begun in Mumbai’s engineering field,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday after lowering the cutterhead of the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) in the Nayanagar shaft in Mahim in Mumbai for the construction of the underground Metro 3.
Set in the backdrop of a setting sun and darkening clouds, the gantry lowered the cutterhead into the shaft before the front shield of the TBM. The launching of the TBM marks the beginning of the process that is expected to change the way the city travels.
It will take 45 days to set up the 110m TBM and it is expected to complete tunelling a 2.5 km tunnel between Nayanagar and Dadar in a year. On an average it will tunnel 10m per day. “The TBM will start its boring operations in the fourth week of October,” said Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC). Twin Tunelling for the 33.5 km Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor will require 17 TBMs.
Speaking after the event the CM said, “The metro is constructed for the convenience of the people and all the courts have also ruled in its favour. It will most importantly reduce pollution. The Metro can reduce as much pollution as two crore trees.”
The CM suggested that the completion of all metro corridors and elevated rail corridors in the city will augment public transport capacity to one crore and thirty lakh people per day.