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After eight years, it’s time for Prerna and Rachna to bid farewell to Kolkata. The two German Herrenknecht-made tunnel boring machines—TBM S640, christened Prerna and TBM S639 named Rachna—that dug the East-West Metro tunnels under the Hooghly, joining Howrah to Kolkata, was given a formal send-off at Curzon Park by those involved in the first phase of the Metro tunneling.
“I don’t think anyone has ever heard of TBMs getting a farewell. But Rachna and Prerna are special to us,” said Satya Narayan Kanwar, project manager, Afcons-Transtonnelstroy, executing agency for East-West Metro’s underground tunneling from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade.
Afcons engaged the two TBMs in October 2011 to burrow under the Hooghly riverbed, giving Kolkata its very own Channel Tunnel. The journey, however, stopped before it began. Stuck in a route realignment impasse, the mega borers lay idle at Howrah Maidan for five years, until the nod was given to start mining from March 2016.
This article first appeared on www.metrorailnews.in
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