(Image Credit: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation)
Mumbai, India (Urban Transport News): Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey on 11th January 2021 inaugurated tunneling work on Mumbai’s Coastal Road project. The Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has deployed the Country's biggest Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) named 'Mavala' deployed here for building 1920m twin tunnels between Priyadarshni Park and Chowpatty.
The 'Mavala' TBM which is manufactured by the China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Co, arrived in Mumbai on 29th April 2020 from Shanghai Port. This TBM will be used for a 3.45 km twin undersea tunnel from Girgaum Chowpatty to Malabar Hill for Mumbai’s 29.2-km Coastal Road project.
"This Coastal Road route will help people from the suburbs come to the city bypassing the central areas of Mumbai. We have a beautiful seashore and this will be a picturesque journey. The beach will also stay unaffected," said Uddhav Thackrey during his inaugural speech. "I am sure this Coastal Road will be completed soon and be available for the service of Mumbaikars.".
According to the plan, about 100 workers will drill day and night daily to complete the tunnelling by June 2022. The entire coastal road is expected to get ready by mid-2023. The 9 km long stretch of the coastal road is being constructed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The TBM will operate 25 metres below the surface at Girgaum and 75 metres below the surface at Malabar Hill. The width of each tunnel will be 12 metres, with two lanes – each 3-3.2 metres wide – and one emergency lane. The BMC claims to have completed over 20 percent of the work for the Coastal Road Project and has set a deadline of July 2023 to complete the entire project.
The overall tunnelling work is expected to take 18 months. The BMC has set a deadline of June 2022 for the completion of the tunnelling work. There will be tunnels for both up towards south Mumbai and down towards Worli end. Tunneling work for each tunnel will take around 9 months.
The tunnelling work on this project has been much delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak which initially delayed the delivery of the TBM from China. Also, the BMC had to tweak its plan for not using Chinese experts for the assembling of the TBM in the backdrop of border tensions between India and China.