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MEIL's Mega engineering marvel in the Himalayas: Char Dham Railway Tunnel Project
MEIL's Mega engineering marvel in the Himalayas: Char Dham Railway Tunnel Project

MEIL's Mega engineering marvel in the Himalayas: Char Dham Railway Tunnel Project

ANI | Updated: Sep 01, 2022 18:46 IST

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], September 1 (ANI/PRNewswire): The Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL) has completed 10 km tunnel works of the 19 km along with 19 cross passages in the package -7B of the Char Dham Railway Tunnel project in Uttarakhand. The company is excavating and drilling the tunnel with advanced NATM technology. The tunnel works are ongoing at an altitude of 2,250 ft above Mean Sea Level in the eastern Himalayan ranges. Despite heavy rainfall, landslides, floods, hard rock formations and topographic challenges, this arduous task was achieved in just 18 months. Thanks to the 1,000-strong workforce working day and night, this was possible.
The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited RVNL has accoladed the MEIL for carrying out speedy works and awarded the company as the best contractor for the Char Dham Project.
On this occasion, Srinadh Reddy, MEIL's project in charge of the Char Dham Railway Tunnel project, said, "We are working hard round-the-clock with RVNL officials to complete this project on time. We are proud to be part of the nation's important strategic project and for Uttarakhand's development."
The 125.20-km-long Rishikesh - Karnaprayag Railway Tunnel project in Uttarkhand is a single-track broad gauge railway line with 12 stations. It is divided into 9 packages, and the MEIL is executing two packages, 7B and 8.
The MEIL has taken enormous safety measures for the workforce in the execution of tunnel project in both packages.
MEIL's Packages
In 7B, the MEIL is executing tunnel works for 19 km, of which a 9.5 km-long twin-tube tunnel (T13) tunnel from Narkota to Sumerpur along with a railway station yard at Tilani in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. The twin tube tunnel consists of a 10-km-long main tunnel and a 9-km-long escape tunnel. It will also construct 33 cross passages between the main and escape tunnels. In addition, the company will build 1 ROB and 2 box culverts.
In Package 8, the MEIL is constructing a 13.5-km-long twin tube tunnel from Sumerpur (Rudraprayag district) to Gaucher (Chamoli district) and railway station yards at Gholtir and Gaucher. It also will construct 45 cross passages between the main and escape tunnels, three bridges and two cut and cover tunnels. A twin tube tunnel consists of a Main tunnel and an Escape tunnel. Therefore, it also needs to execute the 45 cross passages. As a whole, in this package, the MEIL is executing 27-km-long tunnel works, of which 13.5 km is the main tunnel and 13.5 km is the escape tunnel. Currently, 5 km of tunnel works and 10 cross passages have been completed. A 1,200-strong workforce is involved in work day and night.
Advanced machinery deployed
MEIL has deployed machinery from advanced automatic boomer, semi-automatic boomer, shotcrete machine, Hagg loader, hydraulic excavator, wheel loader, dumpers, transit mixers, scissor platform, breaker, truck mounted grouting pump, DG sets and batching plant, mobile crusher in the Char Dham tunnel project. The machinery is instrumental in speeding up the execution works.
Safety of the Workforce

The MEIL's workforce is the heart of the project, and the safety of these frontline workers is of utmost priority for the company. In the Char Dham Railway Project, work is ongoing in hilly terrain and difficult circumstances. Safety comes first, and at the site premises, the company has arranged safety & precautionary sign boards and equipment to resist tunnel hazards. It has laid electrical safety lines to avoid electrical shocks. While blasting, the safety supervisors and engineers take utmost precautions. They have installed Vibro Meters, Blasting Alarms, Hooters etc., for the safety of the workforce. In addition, air shafts have been established to provide fresh air and oxygen into a tunnel for comfortable breathing inside the tunnel. Oxygen meters and equipment to identify dust percentage in the air are also installed. In addition, the sites are equipped with a first aid centre and an ambulance. Besides providing a comfortable stay and healthy hygiene food, the company provides insurance for its labour workforce, engineers and staff.
In 2020 the RVNL called for tenders to construct the 125.20 km single-track railway line Rishikesh - Karnaprayag Railway Tunnel project in Uttarkhand with 12 stations. The project is considered national strategic and is tracked on the Central Government's PRAGATI (Pro-active Governance and Timely Implementation) portal.
The route
The broad-gauge line route from Rishikesh to Karnaprayag will have 35 bridges, 17 tunnels, and 12 stations (Rishikesh, Muni Ki Reti, Shivpuri, Manjilgaon, Sakni, Devprayag, Kirtinagar, Srinagar, Dhari, Rudraprayag, Gholtir, Ghauchar, and Karanprayag). These places are important concerning the devotional activities. It will also have other formation structures across Dehradun, Tehri, Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts of Uttarkhand. When ready, it will reduce the travel time between Rishikesh and Karnaprayag from 7 hours to just over 2 hours.
In addition, it will improve connectivity to the Char Dham shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath in the Garhwali region of the Himalayas. As a result, tourism, adventure sports, trade and transport will be boosted. It will also strengthen and ease military operations for the defence sector.
Why the rail line
The Char Dham Yatra is considered one of India's most prominent pilgrimage tours. However, travellers and pilgrims must travel through narrow ghat roads, always prone to mud and landslides due to frequent rains. Therefore, the lives of people travelling this route are always at risk. Sometimes traffic will be held up for long hours and days. This rail route will ease travel.
About MEIL Has to be added
The MEIL began its journey with a small fabrication unit started in 1989. It rose from local to a global corporation with its projects and activities spread across multiple sectors. It has made its mark in across 20 countries in the last three decades. The company operates in Irrigation, Oil and Gas, Transportation, Power, Telecom, and Defence sectors. The infra giant has to its credit the completion of the world's largest multi-stage Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project in Telangana.
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