Looking for legacies
Seven mega projects that could also be called the Next Seven Wonders of the World — for India.
BY TEAM CW
A few decades ago, India began embarking on some of its most ambitious projects till date. And while some of them have gone on to become landmarks and some contentious, nonetheless they have achieved a kind of status they were destined to receive.
Most projects, by virtue of its size, could qualify as being developed for the first-time-in-India in terms of materials and construction methodology adopted.
Technically challenging packages require intense engineering standards and a lot of thought and deliberation. While Indian infrastructure and engineering companies are quite well geared to meet challenges, not everyone has been lucky enough to bag the mega projects. Here, we select seven projects that could also be called the Next Seven Wonders of the World — for India.
Each one of them has undergone careful scrunity and you will understand and appreciate why we zeroed in on these when there could be others that are equally well deserving.
Do read and send us your feedback.
It took seven years to complete the Pir Panjal tunnel, officially known as the Banihal-Qazigund railway tunnel. About 11kms long, Asia’s second longest tunnel built by Hindustan Construction Company on the Banihal to Qazigund section of the Jammu-Srinagar-Udhampur railway line, was commissioned on June 26, 2013, by then Prime Minister
Dr Manmohan Singh.
The tunnel was constructed using New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) and it is for the first time in the country this method was used on such a large scale. About 1,300 workers and 150 engineers worked to accomplish this challenging task. The Pir Panjal tunnel passes approx 440m below the existing Jawahar Road Tunnel and is 8.40m wide with a height of 7.39m. There is a provision of a 3m wide road along the length of the tunnel for the purpose of maintenance and emergency relief.
Burnpur steel plant
The Rs 16,000-crore revamped and modernised IISCO Steel plant at Burnpur was dedicated to the nation in May. The brand new state-of-the-art IISCO Steel Plant at Burnpur is the fifth integrated steel plant of Steel Authority of India (SAIL), which is set to achieve new milestones in tune with the National Steel Policy.
The annual hot metal capacity of the plant has been ramped up to 2.9 million tonnes, from the earlier 0.85 million tonne. Spread over a compact 953 acres, the new plant is equipped with the latest green technologies with zero emission.
The revamped plant has already achieved some major milestones, both in production and quality. It has started operating the continuous casting plant, and the first batch of 8mm thermo-mechanical treatment (TMT) bars was produced in January 2015.
The company’s reserves of iron ore are the largest in Asia.
Chenab Bridge is an under-construction rail bridge, located between Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district of J&K, India. The 1,315m-long bridge, once completed, will be the tallest rail bridge in the world. It is a part of Jammu-Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Line (JUSBRL) project undertaken by the Ministry of Indian Railways. It will include a 14m-wide dual carriageway and a 1.2m-wide central verge.
The bridge forms a massive steel arch, the first of its kind in India. It is designed to resist wind speeds of up to 260kmph and will include 17 spans, as well as the 469m main arch span across the Chenab River, and viaducts on either side. The main span will include two 36m-long approach spans. It will be built as a two-ribbed arch with steel trusses made of concrete-filled sealed steel boxes. The structure will be supported by two 130m-long, 100m-high pylons on either end through cables.
A dream project of PM Narendra Modi conceptualised during his days as Gujarat chief minister, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) is on the fast track to becoming India’s first Greenfield smart city.
In Phase I, the promoters sold 12.6 million sq-ft. In this about 7-8 million sq-ft has been allotted to commercial and 3 million sq-ft to residential. A state-of-the-art tier 4 data centre is being developed by the consortium which will provide advanced IT services like cloud computing, managed services and readily available access to multiple financial gateways.
GIFT has all the power cables and fibre optic network tucked in a 3km long underground tunnel. A district cooling system will distribute chilled water to all buildings. A control centre will monitor the city’s utilities. The overall infrastructure cost is expected to total Rs 15,000 crore until 2024.
Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, Mumbai
India’s first double-decker flyover, Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR), undertaken under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project of MMRDA, provides east-west connectivity in Mumbai. The 3.45km long SCLR was thrown open to motorists in April last year. It offers faster connectivity between Western Express Highway and Eastern Express Highway (EEH) and comprises 1.8km long double-decker flyover above the Central Railway’s main line and Harbour line tracks.
The SCLR project, conceptualised in 2002, missed 12 deadlines due to issues related to resettlement and rehabilitation. The groundwork commenced only in 2007. MMRDA, the implementing agency, resettled and rehabilitated more than 3,500 affected families. The SCLR was part of the World Bank-funded Mumbai Urban Transport-I project aimed at improving rail and road infrastructure in Mumbai.
Terminal 2, Mumbai International Airport Ltd
T2, which is part of Mumbai International Airport Ltd’s modernisation project, has helped increase annual passenger handling capacity to 40 million from 32 million. The new terminal has 188 check-in counters, 60 departure immigration desks (up from 38), 72 arrival immigration desks (up from 40), and 52 boarding gates (up from 20). Designed by the New York office of architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and built by GVK Power & Infrastructure Ltd (GVK), it features a technically complex and molded coffer ceiling inside the terminal, with integrated columns, as well as a striking retail corridor featuring perforated ceiling petals and skylights. The ceiling structure includes 4,000+ coffers, nearly 100 sq-ft each. Sophisticated 3D and CAD/CAM technology to model and fabricate molds, and glass fiber reinforced gypsum (GFRG) material was used to create the modular ceiling and column components installed on site.
Yamuna Expressway stretching 165kms connects international tourist destinations of Delhi and Agra. Yamuna Expressway, a 6-lane (extendable to 8-lane) access controlled expressway has 5 LFDs (land of concessionaire) with facilities of four toll plazas, and six interchanges along the entire length.
The project was conceived by the government of Uttar Pradesh in 2001 as a crucial enabler for the all-round economic development and growth of the region. YEIDA notified area covers approx. 2,689 sq-km falling in six districts to be developed in two phases. To accomplish this project, Taj Expressway Authority (TEA), a statutory body of the GOUP was constituted in 2001. TEA is now known as Yamuna Expressway Authority (YEA). Construction of the Yamuna Expressway called for the acquisition of 4,406ha of land, which represented a substantial portion of the cost of the work overall.
Since completion in August 2012, the Yamuna Expressway not only cuts travel time between Delhi and Agra by more than half but also drives the development of tourism in the region. It provides direct access to the Yamuna Economic Zone and the international airport. Jaypee Infratech was the contractor to build the 165km long, 6-lane expressway. In addition to the option of extending the road to 8-lanes, the scope also included construction of interchanges, underpasses, toll stations as well as minor and major bridge structures. In view of excellent past experience, Jaypee Infratech relied on the skills of construction machines from Wirtgen for this megaproject.
A gang of four SP 1600 slipform pavers and four TCM 1800 texture curing machines placed the 17.5m wide concrete road pavements in a single pass. Four SP 150 pavers completed several hundred kilometers of different types of concrete safety barriers, kerbs and canal profiles. The client’s plan worked out: In the final analysis, the Wirtgen machines played a vital role in completing the Expressway after a construction time of only five years – enabling it to be opened to traffic two years earlier.
The project devoured nearly 1.7 million cubic meters of concrete – just the right challenge for the four SP 1600 slipform pavers. Working at a paving width of 15.7m and paving thickness of 320mm, they completed the section in a single pass for each direction of travel. Additional factors of success were the well-coordinated operator teams and logistics system. In a first step, the spreading plough distributed the previously delivered concrete evenly across the paving width.
About 45 electric internal vibrators installed in the paving mould used high-frequency vibration to compact the concrete. The dowel bar inserter in the SP 1600 inserted a large number of dowels into the freshly paved concrete by means of an additional 32 electric high-frequency external vibrators: 63 dowel bars each, measuring 500mm in length and 36mm in diameter, were inserted at 5m intervals – without the SP 1600 having to interrupt its forward movement. In between, three tie bar inserters inserted tie bars transverse to the pavement: 11 longitudinal tie bars each, measuring 640mm in length and 16mm in diameter, were placed at intervals of 530mm. The precisely inserted dowel bars and tie bars offer strength to withstand the loads the road will be exposed to. Finally, the heavy-duty finishing beam and super smoother moved across the surface for perfect evenness.
During the paving process, each of the SP 1600 slipform pavers was followed by a TCM 1800 texture curing machine. Each of these four self-propelled machines were equipped with a spraying system and a broom guided across the pavement automatically by means of a carriage. The broom was applied to give the concrete surface texture and grip. The client had specified 3mm deep grooves at a spacing of 20mm – no problem at all for the TCM 1800.
Jaypee decided in favor of German technology to produce the specified safety barriers. Four S 150 slipform pavers from Wirtgen were used for the job. Changing the mould from one machine side to the other is an advantage of the SP 150. At the same time, stringlines had been installed next to the course of the profile, which were scanned by sensors fitted to the S 150 paver for accurate paving. The reliable three-tracked machine paved types of kerbs, concrete safety barriers measuring 850mm and 1,100mm in height, as well as rainwater gutters along the motorway. Time and thus machine availability are of the essence in large ventures. Being a sales and service company, Wirtgen India had long experience in similar projects, such as the Mumbai-Pune expressway. It put together a service package that was tailored to vehicles equipped with special tools, high-quality measuring equipment and a variety of spare parts were always on stand-by.