Making of Mumbai Metro 3 Underground

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1. Every time I visit Delhi thank Metro Man E Sreedharan for making it happen. After waiting for years, like for A/c Local Train, work on the ambitious Mumbai’s Metro 3 (first was 13kms Versova Ghatkopar line) started in 2014. It is a 33.5 kms long underground corridor. U see an inside view of a completed tunnel.

2. Tunneling is carried out by highly mechanized TBM machines which are 98 meter long with a diameter of 5.8 meter. These huge machines weigh approximately 700 to 800 tons. TBM machines are an alternate to the drilling and blasting method of tunneling.

3. The TBM machines drill. Various factors have to be kept in mind before tunneling work begins for e.g. water pipes, electric wires. You see clear view of launching shaft at Marol Naka station. Huge TBM lowers in a part in launching where after assembling of various part TBM starts tunneling.

4. A Tunnel Boring Machine retrieval shaft at Worli. Simply put the TBM enters at one end, drills through to come out at another. Never visualized what it takes to make an underground metro? The island city of Mumbai consisted of 7 islands. Land was reclaimed to make it the Mumbai that it is today. In many places dig a bit & you will find rock.

5. First twin tunnel breakthrough of Metro-3 at Dadar. It is amongst the busiest stations today because both Central and Western local trains stop there. Metro 3 will have 27 key stations of which 26 would be underground. Local trains are Mumbai’s lifeline. Metro projects shall provide an alternative to car users as well.

6. A proud moment; 12th TBM breakthrough at Vidyanagari Station by TBM Godavari-4. This machine was launched from Bandra Kurla Complex. Undertaking tunneling work in a city as densely populated as Mumbai is not easy. Hats off to MMRC.

7. Tunneling work in progress. Technicians working on Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) look on. Once the tunnel is made segment rings are fixed all along tunnel walls. Metro 3 needs Steel 2,20,000 Metric Ton, Cement 8,10,000 Metric Ton, Concrete 15,50,000 Metric Ton and 1.36 Crore Man Days.

8. The ‘Project Neighborhood’ is a green initiative of MMRC to distribute 25,000 saplings among housing societies, hospitals, schools in the vicinity of the proposed 27 stations. You see one such distribution initiative.

9. You see a huge casting yard where segment rings are fabricated & sent to different sites as per requirement. What I like about Delhi Metro is that citizens from all sections of society travel together – in a sense metro is a social equalizer just like a smartphone has become.

10. A scenic view of Hutatma Chowk station passing next to the heritage buildings of Mumbai. This is a high traffic road, pedestrians and cars from 9 am to 9 pm. Note the barricading is well done.

11. TBM Godavari is being lowered at Vidyanagari TBM Shaft. This is done prior to starting the tunneling work. Height gives you a sense of how far below ground level the metro would be.

12. TBM Wainganga-4 is being dragged from one end of MIDC station to another after the breakthrough. TBM’s are required to be moved from time to time.

13. A unique view of cross passage work at Marol Naka which will have 16 cross passages to connect station box and platform. Technical details in captions provided by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation. As editor of esamskriti added information and insights.

14. Tree transplantation done with help of scientific methods to ensure better survival rate of the plants. This means trees removed from one place and replanted in another. Today technology exists to make this happen.

15. A different view of NATM work under Mithi River at south end of BKC station. This will be the second tunnel in India which will pass under river. Total 153M tunneling by NATM Tunnel. Pictures are courtesy & copyright Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited.

16. A clear picture of base slab, concourse slab and roof slab at Siddhivinayak station. Once completed Metro 3 would make it easier for devotees from far and wide to come for darshan at Mumbai’s very popular Siddhivinayak Mandir.

17. Base slab work at Siddhivinayak station. This gives you a sense of the quantum of steel and manpower that is going into making Metro 3. Infrastructure projects require huge quantities of steel, cement and labour. This is only one of the many of Mumbai’s Metro projects.

18. An aerial view of Cuffe Parade station. Residents of Mumbai have to accept the inconvenience like Delhites did. Once operational, according to MMRC, Metro 3 will reduce vehicle trips by 6.6 lakh & 99 lakh Kgs reduction in CO2. ‘No Pain No Gain’.

19. An aerial view of Acharya Atre Chowk station or Worli Naka junction. In the good old days this area was full of textile mills – now it has fancy corporate offices and apartments. MMRC and Mumbai Police have done a reasonably good job in barricading / managing the traffic.

20. CSMIA T2 Stations will provide easy connectivity to the International Airport. One of the best things of Delhi Metro is airport connectivity. In absolute comfort, virtually free, zero stress one can commute from the airport to just about anywhere in the National Capital Region.

21. A beautiful view of Hutatma Chowk station passing between heritage buildings and old structures of Mumbai. Centre of pic white building is the Bombay Stock Exchange. Right of pic white building is HSBC bank.

22. Pre-transplantation activities to protect roots of the full grown trees. Can Indians appreciate good work done by government agencies atleast where it is due? It is so easy to find fault but difficult to empathise with those building infrastructure projects.

23. Grant Road station is minutes away from Lamington road. It is Mumbai’s electronic products hub. Metro will make it easier for Mumbaikars to travel to Lamington road and buy products at a price far cheaper than what is available in their own area. Money saved is money earned.

24. Cut & Cover method and New Austrian tunneling method (NATM) both methods being used to construct Grant Road station. Original cost of Metro 3 underground project was about Rs 23,000 crs. When projects starts costs increase for e.g. delays caused by litigation.

25. An excellent bird’s eye view of Vidhan Bhavan Station which is shaping up right beneath the seat of power. Inspite of new office areas like Lower Parel, BKC and Andheri, Nariman Point area shall continue to attract employees from far and wide.

26. A perfect sight of excavation work at Mumbai Central Station. This again is a densely populated part of Mumbai not to forget the lakhs of travelers who come to Bombay Central Station daily.

27. An ideal view of Bandra Kurla Complex station excavation work. This station is going to be the terminal station. BKC is a financial & diamond sector hub. Earlier infrastructure projects were many a time mismanaged. So public did not trust the government. Due to improvement in governance, social media & alert citizens things have changed atleast in bigger cities. Even Courts played a supportive role.

28. Base slab and concourse slab work is in full speed at MIDC station. Metro 3 project is being financed through a mix of debt from Japan International Cooperation Agency, equity contribution from the central & state governments and additional subordinate debt. Wish to thank every employee for making this dream a reality.

29. Compensatory plantation of indigenous species at various locations of the city. MMCR is doing its bit by transplanting trees and planting new ones too. Best wishes to MMCR. Nice to know the company is headed by a woman.

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