India’s first underwater rail tunnel completed ahead of schedule

The deadline was July this year. But the engineers and employees of Afcons Transtonnelstroy and Kolkata Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd, the two entities implementing the East West Metro have completed boring the country’s first tunnel under the Hooghly river for establishing metro link between Howrah and Kolkata.Rachna, a giant tunnel-boring machine (TBM), was deployed to dig the underwater tunnel that runs a length of 502 metres under the river.The machine was brought from Herrenknecht AG plant in Schwanau, Germany.It will have 12 stations and six will be underground. Estimated cost of the entire project is $750 million or about Rs 5,000 crores. The project has been held up several times for issues relating to land allocation, slum relocation and alignment problems.The initial deadline for the project was 2012, but now it’s been shifted to December 2019.

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