EMPOWER :2009-10

Unity - IVRCL JV celebrates completing the boring of 8 km long tunnel

As you know, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has planned an ambitious project of an underground tunnel for drinking water supply to its citizens. This is the first of its kind project in India worth INR2235 crore. As mentioned in earlier stories of EMPOWER, ElectroMech played a pivotal role in this project through its cranes supplied to Unity - IVRCL and Soma for tunnel mucking and TBM assembly.

Out of this entire ambitious project, the joint venture of Unity and IVRCL was awarded with a contract to complete a stretch of 15km from Gundovali to Bhandup. Recently, they have successfully completed the tunnelling of the first phase of this challenging contract. In this phase, the length of the tunnel is 8.3km with an inlet of depth of 108m and 11.8m diameter at Kapurbawdi. At the outlet near Bhandup, the diameter is 11.8m and the depth 125m. This is one of the deepest raw drinking water tunnels in Asia. The uniqueness of this project is that it used the highly advanced Tunnel Boring Machine which reduced the entire project execution period from 5 years to 18 months. The underground boring and construction of 8.3km long tunnel at the depth of 100m was a high-risk project which demanded technical expertise to complete the job without any untoward incident. All facilities for safety, communications, lighting, ventilation, dewatering, wet/dry mucking and its disposal had been perfectly planned for the smooth completion of the project. In this project, the astonishing excavation speed of the mammoth TBM had to be matched by suitable equipment for speedy removal of muck from 100m depth. High speed ElectroMech gantry cranes had been chosen as the most reliable equipment for the challenging wet/dry muck removal cycle. Two gantry cranes of 32MT capacity, 18.7m span, 140m lift and hoisting speed of 40m/min. were installed at two ends of the proposed tunnel. Also, safety features like load limiter with display, limit switches for motion restriction had been incorporated. With the help of efficient muck removal using an ElectroMech gantry crane, Unity - IVRCL has set a new Indian record of drilling 57.38m length (finished diameter of 5.5m) of an underground tunnel in 24 hours. According to the statement by Unity Infra and IVRCL, they have also set a record by achieving 2 million safe man-hours and maintained zero lost time and accidents in a project of such type and size. The boring of the entire length of 8.3km was also completed in a record time of 180 days. Team ElectroMech is proud to be a part of this achievement by providing a perfect solution and ensuring zero down time of the crane. This is a further testimony to our claim of providing the most pertinent solutions, which are safe and reliable.