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NHSRCL floats tender for India’s first undersea rail tunnel

June 2019
The National High Speed Corporation (NHSRCL), which is implementing India’s first bullet train project, has issued its second value tender for design and construction of the underwater tunnel for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor.

“The alignment of the project is between Mumbai underground station at Bandra-Kurla Complex and Shilphata in Maharashtra,” shares Sushma Gaur, Additional General Manager, NHSRCL. “The scope of work for the construction of tunnelling of the Mumba-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project includes testing and commissioning for double-line, high-speed railway using a tunnel boring machine (TBM) and the New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM),”

According to reports, the bullet train corridor from BKC to Kalyan-Shilphata will have a 21-km underground corridor in Maharashtra and bids have been invited for this 7-km stretch.

“India’s apex institutes Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Mangroves Survey of India (MSI), and National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) have studied the environmental impact of the project in the said area,” she adds. “In its report, ZSI has stated that there is minimal disturbance to wildlife in this region. No mangroves will be cut in this area as it will be an undersea tunnel, 20-40 m below the ground or sea level.” In fact, all environment-related clearances from the respective authorities, i.e. Coastal Regulation Management Authority, National Board of Wildlife and Department of Forests have either been received or the approval principally agreed upon.

A final report on the geotechnical investigation of the undersea tunnel area had been submitted last year. A static refraction technique (SRT) survey had been carried out to conduct the geotechnical investigation.

According to the tender, construction work is expected to be completed in three-and-a-half years.

- DIKSHA JAWLE