BENGALURU: To many cheers and whistles from Namma Metro workers, the cutter head of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) ‘Krishna’ made a dramatic appearance on Monday, loudly breaking through rocks at Chickpet Metro station on Monday. The TBM had begun its journey from KR Market station 20 months ago.
The 70-tonne mammoth cutter head with 46 sharp cutters emerged at Chickpet station at 5 pm. Completion of tunnelling under the Kempegowda station intersection (Majestic intersection) was the most crucial element in the completion of Metro Phase I ahead of the March 2016 deadline.
Elaborating on the reason for its slow progress, BMRCL managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola said ‘Krishna’ had to work below a built-up area, huge buildings and the Sirsi flyover en route. “It went slowly so that no building suffered any damage,” he said. There was also a 5x5 metre cave in due to loose soil that slowed down the work.
On the progress made by the other TBMs, Kharola said that ‘Margarita’ needs to advance between Kempegowda station and Sampige Road, and this will take around one-and-a-half months. ‘Godavari’, tunnelling along the same route but in the opposite direction, will begin its journey in another 2-3 days and take 4-5 months to complete the job, while ‘Kavery’, which has completed half the trip between Chickpet and Kempegowda stations, will be done in another four months.
“By January, we are confident of having three tunnels to Majestic cleared,” he said. ‘Krishna’ will take 45 days to complete the remaining 5.5-6 metres to Majestic. “So, by February 2016, all tunnelling work to Majestic should be completed,” Kharola added.