Tunnel borer Krishna breaks through at Chickpet station after 20 months

Tunnel borer Krishna breaks through at Chickpet station after 20 months

Finally after 20 months, Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Krishna achieved breakthrough at the Namma Metro underground Chickpet station on at 5.02 pm on Monday.

With this, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) officials are now confident that the work at all four tunnels for Phase I, which is currently underway, will be over by next February-end.

 BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola said, “All the four tunnels will be completed by February-end and will all culminate at Majestic station which will then pave the way for commercial operations to begin on Phase I in March-April.”

The officials said TBM Krishna took 20 months to drill a tunnel from City Market to Chickpet.
The machine had been stuck in loose soil for four to five months. Due to this, the machine had to be operated at a very slow pace.

Finally, Krishna emerged covered in slurry and slush from the tunnel amid cheers and whistling from hundreds of Metro workers who had spent months working at the site to watch the machine emerge out.

Kharola said the TBM Krishna will now go through repairs for 45 days before being pressed into tunneling again towards Majestic covering a distance of 900 metres which still remains.

“We will start operations on the East-West corridor --- Baiyappanahalli to Mysore Road --- by December-end,” Kharola said.

“Operations between Jayanagar and Puttenahalli on the North-South Corridor will also begin by February. The train will be lifted on to the track soon and the trials will begin by September end on this stretch,” he added.

The BMRCL officials said they will now focus on tunnelling towards Majestic and will put all TBMs into service to achieve this objective. “Margarita is at the most advanced stage and will reach Majestic in one-and-a-half months. Kaveri, tunnelling between Chickpet and Majestic station, will reach in four to four-and-a-half months. Godavari will start drilling in two-three days from north ramp towards Majestic,” Kharola said.

Subways planned

To ease out traffic woes and help commuters to get on to the Metro trains easily, the BMRCL would soon be constructing three subways on the Peenya stretch near the Nagasandra, Dasarahalli and Jalahalli stations.

 Regarding the ongoing safety trials by the commissioner for railway safety (CRS) on Mysuru Road-Magadi Road stretch,  the officials said the CRS has finished the third day of the ongoing trials and will take a few more days to submit analysis and the reach will be thrown open to public soon thereafter.

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