The much-awaited tunnel boring machines (TBMs), which will drill between Vellara Junction and Pottery Town (5.5km), are likely to reach the city by February first week.
It’s part of the longest underground Metro section between Dairy Circle and Nagawara (14km) of the Pink Line.
L&T, the contractor awarded the tender in February 2019, procured four TBMs from China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Corporation Limited (CRCHI) and the machines are in transit to Bengaluru after completion of factory acceptance tests.
“The TBMs are in transit and two are likely to reach Bengaluru by first week of February and the other two by February-end. They have to be assembled and the tunnelling work is likely to start in mid-March” said BMRCL chief public relations officer BL Yashvanth Chavan.
According to the blog The Metro Rail Guy, the TBMs have been named Avni (earth), Urja (energy), Lavi (lion) and Vindhya (knowledge). “The names are given by the contractor for easy identification for monitoring and service by the supplier. These names don’t have any other significance,” Chavan said.
Work on the vertical shafts, which will be used to lower the machines, is in progress at Shivajinagar and Cantonment.
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited said nine TBMs will be deployed along the 14-km underground section. In November 2019, ITD Cementation India Ltd awarded for the Tannery Road-Nagawara underground section and Afcons Infrastructure for the Dairy Circle- Langford Town section.
While Afcons is likely to deploy three TBMs, ITD Cementation is likely to deploy two TBMs and these are likely to reach Bengaluru in September 2020.