Tunnel boring machines at work for Metro

NEW DELHI DEC. 4. Away from the prying eyes of Delhiites, which never tire of having a glimpse of Metro construction work, three tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are busy these days drilling through the heart of the city and one of them has already proceeded about 700 metres from Patel Chowk towards Connaught Place.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation today informed that while two TBMs are moving on this stretch, another has begun work in the Old Delhi area. Together these machines will carry out the construction of the underground Metro corridor from Kashmere Gate to Patel Chowk.

While work on Patel Chowk to Connaught Place will be completed this month, that from New Delhi station to Connaught Place will begin in January 2003 and end in June 2003. The TBMs will move from Delhi Main to Kashmere Gate from July 2003 to November 2003.

The DMRC said since the bored tunnel construction for Delhi Metro involves tunnelling through both quartzite and soft ground, two types of tunnel boring machines have been deployed. While one is for working in quartzite, the other is earth pressure balance machine for soft ground.

The dual mode machines have only become available in recent years but ensure safety of the tunnelling operations if a fissure of soft ground is encountered in rocky sections.

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