In a significant development for Mumbai's suburban rail network, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has achieved a major milestone in the construction of the Panvel-Karjat new suburban corridor. On September 6, 2023, MRVC announced the completion of 1000 meters of underground excavation in the Wavrely Tunnel, which is set to become the longest tunnel in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) upon completion.
The Wavrely Tunnel, part of MRVC's Mumbai Urban Transport Project 3 (MUTP-3), will stretch an impressive 2.6 kilometers, dwarfing the current longest tunnel, the Parsik tunnel, which measures approximately 1.3 kilometers. This accomplishment marks a significant step forward in enhancing Mumbai's suburban rail connectivity.
The Wavrely Tunnel will be 2.6 kilometers long. | FPJ
The Panvel-Karjat railway project, a crucial component of MUTP-3, is taking shape with three tunnels planned in total. These include the Nadhal Tunnel spanning 219 meters, the Wavrely Tunnel at 2625 meters, and the Kirawali Tunnel covering 300 meters. All three tunnels are currently under construction as part of this ambitious project.
The Nadhal Tunnel, with excavation work completed on May 10th, 2023, presented unique challenges due to its proximity to the existing Panvel-Karjat Single Line Tunnel. Strict safety measures were implemented throughout the excavation process.
The tunnel is supported by rock bolting, wiremesh, and shotcrete, and it will feature permanent waterproof concrete lining. | FPJ
"The Wavrely Tunnel's excavation commenced with an inaugural blast at both portals on February 22nd, 2023, and it reached the 1000-meter milestone on September 6th, 2023. The tunnel is primarily supported by rock bolting, wiremesh, and shotcrete, and it will feature permanent waterproof concrete lining. The track structure inside the tunnels will be ballast-less, and modern amenities, such as adequate lighting, ventilation systems, and public refuge areas, are being integrated in line with international standards' ' said an official.
Inaugural blast to happen soon
"Construction work on the Kirawali Tunnel is already in progress, with an inaugural blast anticipated in the near future. The entire Panvel-Karjat new suburban corridor project is slated for completion by December 2025, aiming to streamline suburban services and reduce commuting times between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Karjat up to 30 minutes ", said an official.
"The Panvel- Karjat Suburban corridor project, which was sanctioned in 2018, will introduce five new stations, including Mohope, Chowk, Karjat, Chikhale, and Panvel. It involves constructing a parallel railway line to the existing single-line section, promising improved connectivity and convenience for commuters" said officials.
The entire Panvel-Karjat new suburban corridor project is slated for completion by December 2025. | FPJ
Project to boost connectivity
According to Sunil Udasi, CPRO of MRVC "In addition to the tunnels, the Panvel-Karjat suburban corridor project encompasses two rail flyovers, 44 major and minor bridges, 15 road under bridges, and seven road over bridges, covering a total length of approximately 29.6 kilometers. The targeted completion date for this extensive project is December 2025" he said.
"This project will enable the running of suburban services and provide an alternate route from Mumbai’s main island city to Karjat via Panvel, resulting in shorter commute times between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Karjat" further added Udasi.
The project, after completion, is set to boost connectivity between Mumbai to Karjat via Panvel. | FPJ