The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project which eventually gained traction after a delay in initiation has now got a major development boost. Tenders have been invited to build a 7-km long tunnel under the sea, a first of its kind in the country. A 21-km-long tunnel is to be built in Maharashtra for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor, of which seven km will be under the sea.
NHSRCL( National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited) has invited tenders for the tunnel, inviting parties using Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) and New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM). This tunnel will be between the Bandra-Kurla Complex underground station and Shilphata in the state of Maharashtra. The 7 km distance under the sea at Thane Creek (intertidal zone) makes it the first sea tunnel to be built in the country. As part of the package, 39 equipment rooms will also be constructed at 37 locations around the tunnel.
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TBMs with a cutter head of 13.1 meters in diameter will be used for the construction of this tunnel. Usually, a 5-6 meter diameter cutter head is used for urban tunnels used in MRTS – Metro system.
About 16 km of the tunnel will be constructed using three tunnel boring machines, with the final 5 km being constructed using the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM). The depth of this tunnel from the surface will range between 25 and 65 metres, with the deepest construction point being 114 metres below Parsik Hill in Shilphata.
This rail line being built by National High-Speed Rail Corporation is India’s first high-speed rail line. With a length of 508 km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, it will pass through nine districts of Gujarat and three districts of Maharashtra. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 1.08 lakh crore.