Tunneling works start at Anand Vihar for underground construction of Delhi-Meerut RRTS Corridor

For the first time in India, the 6.5 meter diameter tunnel is being built as part of a mass transit project.

Delhi-Meerut RRTS: Tunneling works have started at Anand Vihar for the underground construction of the country’s first regional rail corridor implemented from Delhi to Ghaziabad and Meerut. About 90 meters long, TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) has started the construction of a tunnel for the next corridor of the regional rapid transit system from Anand Vihar to the side of New Ashok Nagar. The tunnel boring machine consists of cutter head, erector, screw conveyor, front shield, center shield, rear shield and various other parts that help in drilling tunnels efficiently. Tunnel rings are constructed using tunnel segments by the tunnel boring machine. Generally, seven tunnel segments are used to make a tunnel ring.

For this section, tunnel segments are being constructed at the NCRTC casting yard. With a diameter of 6.6 meters, the tunnels of RRTS are larger than those of other Indian metro systems due to larger rolling stock with a higher design speed of 180 km per hour for RRTS trains. This will help minimize air pressure as well as passenger discomfort due to the higher speed of the train. For the first time in India, the 6.5 meter diameter tunnel is built in a mass transit project. This particular TBM will develop about 3 kilometers from the Anand Vihar tunnel towards the New Ashok Nagar side. Currently, the recovery pit for this machine is under construction at Khichripur near New Ashok Nagar.

Four tunnel boring machines are to be launched from Anand Vihar station. Two of the TBMs for a trip from Anand Vihar to the New Ashok Nagar side and two of the TBMs for a trip from Anand Vihar to the Sahibabad side. From the north side of Anand Vihar, construction of other launch shafts for launching the TBM to the Sahibabad side is underway. Anand Vihar’s tunnel boring machines in Sahibabad will construct approximately 2 kilometers of tunnels each. At present, the recovery well thereof is under construction at Vaishali.

The underground sections of the RRTS will have separate twin tunnels for round-trip train movement. Various security measures are in place to ensure the safety of commuters. Emergency evacuation arrangements have been made for the safety of commuters in the event of an emergency. In addition, there will be a communication passage approximately every 250 meters. Some of the main reasons for the implementation of this project are the decongestion of the national capital, the reduction of automobile traffic and air pollution, as well as a balanced regional development. Construction is in full swing on the 82 km long Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor. The RRTS corridor will have up to 25 stations, including two depots and a parking area.

To date, an 18 kilometer viaduct, of priority section with nearly 1,400 piles has been built. Foundation work is complete for 80% of the RRTS corridor. The 17-kilometre priority section from Sahibabad to Duhai is expected to be operational by March 2023 with trials to start this year. The full RRTS corridor is expected to be open by 2025.

Bonny J. Streater