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Metro Underground - Who Is Gaining the Expertise?

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Metro RailPublic Transport

Came across this report in DH:  Metro’s Phase-I unlikely to meet deadline.  From June 2012, to December 2013, to March 2014 and now December 2014, though Mr Sreehari admits anything before mid-2015 is a pipedream.  Rs 65 lakhs per day down the drain.

More interestingly, the latest reason for the delay: the EPB Tunnel Boring Machines are set to land up only in June 2012!  One from Italy and two from China  Remember this is two years after 38 kms of underground metro were completed in Delhi.

And who has the contract for the underground section of the North-South corridor?  Tanstonnelsboy-Coastal JV.  In this time and age, one would expect a Google search to return something.  But nothing on these guys, except the BMRCL-related links.

Leaving that aside I went looking for who CEC-SOMA, who are doing the other underground sections (  CEC is a Taiwanese company.  They are going to do the tunnelling while Soma builds the stations (link).  This is what they have done in Delhi too (link).

I remember an earlier discussion on Praja about underground/overground metro.  Someone pointed out that we need to let the locals get their hands wet with doing an underground segment, then it would become commoditised, leading to lower costs and more underground stretches.  He/she also hoped, that with the expertise maybe we would even start making TBMs ourselves (or rather, our engineering giants would).  Working ecosystems etc...

Doesn't look like that's happening.  The way I see it, the only people who look like getting their hands wet are the manual workers helping out with the tunneling.


srinidhi's picture

TBM's already drilling..

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Two TBM's (Helen and Margarita) are already drilling from the Majestic end towards Central college..Helen is already close to the 400 mts mark and is expected to come into Central college by mid december..

The delays were mostly in splitting up the UG tender cos of high cost if it was presented as a whole..

The news article above is of the other line NS line..where the tender was awarded recently..

Manufacturing TBM's in India may not be a viable option right now..but running them with minimal help from outside will become detrimental in reducing costs..and that the learing the Indian arm of the consortium should focus on..

Mid 2015 looks a likely date..not just cos of UG sections..the main tender of the interchange at Majestic has not been awarded yet!!

pdk's picture


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Yes, I (as the article also mentions) was referring to the TBMs for the North-South corridors.  The other u/g section is already on.  

[Wanted to edit the post to reflect this, but Praja seems to be refusing both posting as well as editing of already posted stuff]

srinidhi's picture

TBM drills into Central College yesterday

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Helen made it into central college grounds after drilling from Majestic yesterday...its a very important milestone which is hardly covered by press!!

skip to 4:20 to see it come out..

yantraka's picture

Third TBM for East-West UG section?

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The latest BMRCL newsletter (March 2012) mentions - Excavation of launching shaft in Cubbon Road to launch 3rd TBM completed. I thought Soma-CEC JV planned to use only 2 TBMs.

srinidhi's picture

Hitachi says 2TBM's only

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There is no mention of a 3rd TBM anywhere for the EW line..dont know why the news letter mentions it..guess they will move Helen to Cubbon road to start drilling..

The N-S line is supposed to have 3 TBM's..the first two being operational in June this year..and the third is expected to start from oct!

yantraka's picture

There is a third TBM!

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The June newsletter says -

TBM 3 has been lowered into Cubbon Park Station and being assembled

Hope this will help in mitigating the numerous delays

srinidhi's picture

UG stations delay..inexperience?

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Was seeing the latest pic of the once beautiful Minsk sq UG station works..the work there started around 3 years ago (July 2011) and doesnt look it will get completed in the near future:

Pic from SSC

The time set when the works started was 24 months, but its more than 36 months with no this like lets pretend we are still working..till the drilling is done?

Or is it the UG station work is extremenly complex that the engineers in BMRCL are not able to comprehend?

The Minsk Sq stn did not have issues like the VS one like that of Ambedkar statue..or the kind of rocks in Central College stn but still the works delayed!

Every pic I see of these UG stations, the pace of work is dismal..reminds me of the MG road metro line works by Navyuga..which was lousily slow..

Someone really good is needed to shake up the whole process for BMRCL..else we will be seeing every other city in India riding the metro and we still have our city dug up!

srinidhi's picture

Majestic station renders

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Found this on SSC (photo download credit maddyvoldy

Looks ok..but seems very far from reality with all the delays coming in the way..btw dont understand why there are celing fans there!

Sanjeev's picture

Thanks Srinidhi for sharing

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So now 2016  should be optimistic considering the  opennes of the BMRCL info sharing with public.

So let people of Bangalore keep guessing the dates,  may be some betting busines samy be also going ???


Sanjeev's picture

Thanks Srinidhi for sharing

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So now 2016  should be optimistic considering the  opennes of the BMRCL info sharing with public.

So let people of Bangalore keep guessing the dates,  may be some betting busines amy be also going ??? comment guidelines

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