Tunnel boring machines to bid adieu

Six years ago, 12 giant machines from across the world landed in the city to create what may be described as an engineering marvel — build tunnels across the city for Chennai Metro Rail.

At a snail’s pace — even as they threw traffic out of gear and caused numerous sinkholes — the machines managed to drill the earth for 37 km across the city. Now, after the tunnels are ready to take in trains, the city will finally say goodbye to the machines.

Eight from Germany, two from China, and one each from the United States and Japan, were employed in different locations to tunnel through the city. During the course of the six years, as and when each of these machines, when completed their target, left the city. And now, the only one which was remaining too completed tunnelling last week and will leave the city in a week or so.

Officials of the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) said that the last machine is owned by Gammon India and its Russian partner Mosmetrostroy. This firm’s contract was terminated as it failed to meet deadlines and also its partner Mosmetrostroy left the project halfway. “So, the new contractor Afcons Infrastructure Limited completed the rest of the work with this machine. Now, it will be sent back to Gammon India,” an official said.

The 90-metre-long machine weighing about 850 tonnes will be dismantled in a week-long process, an official said.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 12:54:12 PM |

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