Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) is all set to deploy made in India tunnel boring machines for its Phase II project. This is in contrast to the situation 10 years ago, when machines made in China, Russia and Germany were deployed.
According to CMRL officials, of the 23 TBMs to be used in the project, 12 would be from Tamil Nadu, five from China, one from Germany and one from Pune respectively. The status of four TBMs is not known yet because the contract for the stretch between Kolathur and Nathamuni in the Corridor 5 of Phase 2 project has not been awarded yet. The company that bags the contract for building this underground stretch has to choose the TBMs and get an approval from CMRL before deploying them.
“Of the 12 machines in Tamil Nadu, 10 will be remanufactured in Chennai and two in Kancheepuram. After the remanufacturing process is complete, the company will have it certified for use from the original manufacturer after which it will be used here,” an official said.
In the Phase II project, underground network will be built for nearly 43 km with over 40 stations. “We are still making some changes in the alignment; so the number of stations is bound to change in the coming months,” another official said.
In Corridor 3, which runs to 45.81 km from Madhavaram to SIPCOT, 26.7 km will be underground. In Corridor 4 which connects Light House and Poonamallee covering a distance of 26 km, 10 km will be underground. And in Corridor 5 which runs for 47 km linking Madhavaram and Shollinganallur, there is a 5.8 km underground stretch.
While one TBM has arrived from China and reached Madhavaram, the second one has passed the factory acceptance test and will be soon taken to the construction site. “These 19 TBMs will be commissioned for the Phase II project one after the other between October and June next year,” the official said.