Pune Metro completes 30 metres underground tunneling beneath Mutha riverbed

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PUNE: Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha Metro) has successfully completed the underground tunneling of 30 metres beneath the Mutha riverbed which is considered as the most difficult work on the 16.59 km Purple Line that will run from PCMC Bhavan to Swargate with 14 stations of the Pune Metro Rail Project.

Under Phase-1, Line-1(Purple Line) has an underground stretch of length 5.019 km from Agriculture College to Swargate with 5 underground stations. The work is divided in two packages – Package 1 from Agriculture college to Budhwar Peth and Package 2 from Budhwar Peth to Swargate. Both packages have been awarded to the JV of Tata-Projects-Gulermek.

Two TBM (Tunnel Boring Machines) i.e. S78 (Mutha) and S79 (Mula) were commissioned last month to build twin tunnels. Work on 1.6 km underground tunnel from between Agriculture College and Shivajinagar has been already completed. Tunnel work for the stretch between Civil court to Budhwar Peth started in March. After few days, Maha-Metro entered the riverbed of the Mutha river. The total width of the riverbed is 90 metres and of that, water flows in the 30-35 metres stretch while the remaining portion remains dry.

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According to the Director of Maha Metro, Atul Gadgil, “We have crossed the 30–35 metres stretch beneath the river. We have almost reached the other side of the edge of the riverbed and we will pass it in the coming two-three days.”

With this work, Pune has become the 4th city in India after Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai to have an underground metro rail crosses the river.

In another news, around 2,000 Pune Metro workers have left the work as a result of lockdown imposed in the state of Maharashtra as corona cases continue to rise at alarming rate. This might result in missing deadlines for the project. Similar situation arise last year also when around 70-75 workforce left the work due to the fear of corona causing slow progress to the work.

According to MahaMetro communications team head Hemant Sonawane,” We had started vaccination for employees and told them they need not worry about anything, as work will go on. There were no issues with stay or food – everything is managed at labour camps. But many of those who still left are bachelors or don’t have connections around the city. The common sentiment is that in case they get infected by COVID, there will be no one around for them and they will suffer. Now, work will obviously be hampered and we might end up missing deadlines.”
At present, work is going on two lines of Pune Metro with Maha Metro has fixed deadline of June to start operation on 8 km stretch from PCMC to Dapodi (Line-1)and for Vanaz to Garware College (Line-2) stretch by August 15 of this year. These deadlines may miss if workers do not return for work.

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