Of the 16.6-km route of the East-West Metro project, the tunneling covers 10.6 km, of which 520 metre under the river. The under-river tunnel is being built at an expense of Rs 60 crore while the total cost of the East-West Metro project is estimated at around Rs 9,000 crore.
The tunneling work started in April last year and likely to be completed in the river section shortly, a senior Railway ministry official said. The East-West Metro is scheduled to be operational by August, 2019. The internal diametre of each tunnel is 5.55 metre and the thickness of the wall is 275 mm. The distance between the two tunnels is 16.1 metre.
There will be walkways in the tunnels for evacuation of passengers in case of emergency, the official said, adding it was a challenging task to dig tunnel under the river. For the Railways, besides the tunnel under the Hooghly river, drilling work is going on for the seven-km-long under- sea route of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad rail corridor to ascertain soil condition for India's first bullet train path.
Passengers will get the thrill of travelling under the sea at a maximum speed of 350-km-per-hour, another first in the country, near Thane in the upcoming high-speed train project connecting the two metropolis.