Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) has started the work of mapping underground utilities for the 5.5km underground section of the Joka-Esplanade Metro corridor. RVNL will execute the process with the help of ground-penetrating radar over the next fortnight and prepare a report.
Underground utility mapping or identifying the position and labelling public utility mains is crucial for building the 5.5km underground Mominpore-Esplanade stretch of the 14.35km metro link. After studying the underground utility status report, the British-era brick sewer at Mominpore, CESC cables and other lines for telecommunication, water mains, and waste-water pipes will be shifted accordingly and the coast freed for the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to burrow and build twin tunnels through the alignment. “
The GPR method uses radar pulses to detect the utilities. The process started on 19th Aguust and will carry on for the next 10 days from Mominpore to Esplanade,” an RVNL official said.
“Utility mapping reveals what lies beneath the metro construction route. Information about the electric cables, telecom cables and sewers available with the KMC are incomplete, scattered or missing. Utility mapping involves reviewing existing records identifying the type and location of the underground infrastructure. Stumbling unexpectedly over an underground feature during construction can have serious consequences for the project,” the RVNL official said.
The Joka-Esplanade link got a major boost last year when the railway ministry approved additional funds for building the underground tracks. With the revised Rs 2,685 crore allocated for the underground section, RVNL also started the process of land acquisition for the underground section.
The Metro project was stalled since 2011 because of a stand-off between the railways and defence ministry and construction could happen only between Joka and Majerhat. RVNL has, therefore, split the project into two phases. The first phase is elevated — from Joka till Majerhat. The second phase is from Majerhat till Esplanade.