Mumbai: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnacis on Thursday, launched the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) into the Nayanagar shaft in Mahim, by pushing a button, for construction of the city’s first underground Metro corridor. In the backdrop of a setting sun and darkening clouds, the gantry lowered the cutter-head into the shaft before the front shield of the TBM. The launching of the TBM marks the beginning of the process that is expected to change the way the city travels.
“A new chapter has begun in Mumbai’s engineering field,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Thursday after lowering the cutter-head of the first tunnel boring machine (TBM).
It will take 45 days to set up the 110-metre TBM and it is expected to complete a 2.5 km tunnel between Nayanagar and Dadar in a year. On an average, it will tunnel 10 m per day. “The TBM will start its boring operations in the fourth week of October,” said Ashwini Bhide, Managing Director, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC). Twin tunnelling for the 33.5 km Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor (Metro 3) will require 17 TBMs.
Speaking after the event, the CM said, “The Metro is constructed for the convenience of the people and all the courts have also ruled in its favour. It will most importantly reduce pollution. The Metro can reduce as much pollution as 2 crore trees.”
He said Mumbai would soon have an integrated ticketing system. “We had a meeting with Ford Mobility Services on Wednesday and signed an MoU. It will provide an app through which you can decide your travel route and purchase a ticket for all public transports — Metro, suburban trains, Monorail, buses or even water transport after it is developed in the eastern front,” said Fadnavis. The CM suggested that the completion of all Metro lines and elevated rail corridors in the city would augment public transport capacity to 1.3 crore people per day.