The tunnelling work on the 33.5 km-long underground Metro corridor (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) picked up pace in July as workers joined the workforce. Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) achieved tunnelling of 600 mt in July after hitting a low of 108 mt in June.
Tunnelling work had been going on at snail’s pace as the workers left the project for their hometowns for of fear of the coronavirus pandemic. MMRCL’s director (projects) SK Gupta said, “We were able to complete, on an average, tunnelling of 1,500 mt before lockdown. In April-May, tunnelling completed was 333 mt and it dipped to 108 mt in June. There were only 4,000 workers for the tunnelling as against the actual strength of 15,000.”
The workforce now is around 6,000 and, by September, it will touch around 12,000 to 14,000. MMRC had planned to complete tunnelling work by December 2020 but now this work will stretch up to February 2021.
Meanwhile, arrival of rest of the workforce is hit due to lockdown in Bihar and Orissa. MMRC said that the borning machines are now working in single shift but from August, it plans to get them working in double shift. Besides, track concreting to has been done on 14 km stretch.
Gupta said, “Laying of tracks will start once sleeper- laying machines arrive from Germany. The arrival has been delayed due to pandemic.” On June 9, MMRC has received its first lot of head-hardened rail tracks weighing 3,615 metric tonnes in June from Japan. The remaining lot of 7,125 metric tonnes will arrive in two lots this year. These tracks will be high-attenuation low-vibration track system (the first such in India) to reduce noise and vibration levels during train operations.