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  • Tunnel development in India has picked up pace in the past few years on account of an increased uptake of projects involving longer tunnel lengths. The growth of tunneling activity in India is driven by the robust pipeline of projects in the urban mass transit, railways, roads and highways, and the water supply and sewerage sectors.

  • A number of landmark and challenging tunnel construction projects are under execution across sectors. These include the 9-km Rohtang tunnel on the Leh-Manali highway, the 56-km Kaleshwaram irrigation tunnel (Link 7), the 9.7-km Chembur-Wadala-Parel water tunnel, 59 km of tunnels on the Jiribam Tupul-Imphal rail line, and the 33.5-km Mumbai Metro Line 3.

  • Underwater tunnels are also being constructed. India’s first underwater metro tunnel, the 502 metre-long underwater metro rail tunnel below Hooghly river was completed in May 2017. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project also involves construction of a 3-km tunnel under the sea.

  • TBM and NATM technologies are gaining prominence for tunnelling activities in urban areas. Another advanced tunneling method which is seeing increasing acceptance is micro-tunnelling. Conventional methods such as drill and blast continue to play a dominant role in executing tunnel construction projects in the Himalayan region and the Western Ghats as well for constructing hydro tunnels.

  • Further, there is a growing focus on deploying new tools and devices such as the strength monitoring using thermal imaging (SMUTI), remote blast monitoring, and 3-D monitoring systems to increase use of IT and automation in tunnelling. New materials are also being deployed to improve the durability and strength of tunnels

  • Going forward, with infrastructure development at the forefront, there is great scope for tunnelling in the country in the years to come. More than 4,000 km of tunnel length is planned to be added in the next four to five years. For the successful implementation of these projects, there is a need to ensure that the factors that can slow down the execution of tunnelling projects such as safety risks, contractual issues, inadequate investigation, geological complexities, etc. are dealt with in a time-bound and effective manner. .

  • The mission of this conference is to discuss the trends and developments and highlight the opportunities and challenges in the tunnelling segment. The conference will provide a platform to showcase recent innovations in technology and equipment, noteworthy projects and best practices.

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