Thrissur: The work on the left tunnel of the first-ever twin tube tunnels being drilled through the Kuthiran mountain on the six-lane toll highway between Mannuthy in Thrissur and Vadakkencherry in Palakkad has begun. The sub-contractor company has put in an additional 50 skilled manpower for the second tunnel which has been drilled for a length of 15 meters till Saturday. The entire project will be completed by January next year, the director of the company constructing the tunnel told DC.
At present, explosion is conducted for breaking the rock and boomer machine is used for drilling works of both the left and the right tunnel from the Palakkad side near Irumbupalam. Both the tunnels will be more than one kilometre long and have a width of 14.3 and 10 metres of height. The right tunnel for which the blasting stared in June has completed 158 metres. Within a week by fixing the coordinates as mentioned in the project plan, the blasting for the tunnel will begin from the Thrissur side as well, Mr Krishnam Raju, director of Mumbai-based Prakrithi Engineering, which is the sub-contractor of KMC, the main contractor of NHAI, said.
This tunnel at Kuthiran is the first of its kind in the state and will help save two-km distance compared to the highway road presently laid around the mountain at Kuthiran climb with several rising and falling steeps. “For this Rs 110-crore project of drilling the twin tunnels, we are now able to blast and drill through five metres a day. If the rock is hard, the work goes on without any delay, but in places where it is not that hard, we need to take more effort for reinforcement of the drilled portion,” he told DC.
For all the drilled portions, steel frames called ‘ribs’ are placed in an arch shape for support and concrete is sprayed on the periphery of the rock with 5 cm thickness so that it does not come in touch with the atmosphere and develop crack, he added. A total of four lakh tonnes of rocks taken out of the tunnel will be used for the highway works by the main contractor....