East-West Metro: Tunneling from Sealdah to Esplanade complete
KOLKATA: The East West Metro project achieved a significant milestone on Saturday with the completion of a west-bound tunnel from Sealdah to Esplanade.
The achievement is a breakthrough for the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL), the implementing agency of East-West Metro Corridor and its contractor, ITD-Cementation, as the last stretch (2.45 km) was one of the most critical parts of the project, which had witnessed many hurdles including the collapse of several buildings at Durga Pithuri Lane.
In August 2019, tunneling was stopped as Chundi—the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) digging the westbound tunnel—became defunct. In February 2020, Urvi—the twin TBM digging the east-bound tunnel—restarted the work and continued tunneling till its destination, the Sealdah station.
According to sources, the TBM Urvi had hit the diaphragm wall below the site of the disaster at Durga Pithuri Lane at 10 pm on Saturday. Waterlogging around Sealdah Station hampered the work of the metro. The work was delayed by two days (Thursday and Friday). The tunnel boring work is complete now. The technical part will be dealt later.
Urvi, which was launched below the ground at Esplanade in February 2019, had completed its grueling underground journey after 21 months. There were three temporary stoppages for ground disturbances at Bowbazar, due to lockdown as a preventive measure for COVID -19 pandemic and after some of the workers executing the project were affected by Coronavirus.
The entire East West Corridor project of 16.55 km (between Sector-V and Howrah Maidan) is expected to be completed by the end of next year.