In a major milestone, Portal No.1 of Tunnel no. T-04 to the Adit of the Sivok – Rangpo Rail Project (SRRP), located in Darjeeling District of West Bengal, achieved a breakthrough on 30th December, 2023.
Moreover, breakthrough has also been achieved in Tunnel no. 13 of the project on 3rd January, 2024. With these tunnel breakthroughs, mining activities have been successfully accomplished in all the adit tunnels of this project.
The length of the Main Tunnel of T-04 is 3948 meters, along with an Evacuation Tunnel of length 600 meters situated near the Hanuman Jhora in Darjeeling District, West Bengal. Also, the length of T- 13 is 2560 meters which is the last tunnel in West Bengal portion of the project and is located in the Kalimpong district. The Main Tunnel traverses through vulnerable and challenging geological and seismic conditions of the Younger Himalayas. Like all other tunnels in the SRRP, to counter vulnerability of the ground mass, latest and most sophisticated tunneling technology, i.e., New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) has been used here.
The Sivok – Rangpo new rail link project connecting Sivok (West Bengal) and Rangpo (Sikkim) is about 45 kms long and is characterized by 14 nos. tunnels, 17 nos. bridges and 5 nos. stations. The length of longest tunnel (T-10) is 5.3 km and length of longest bridge (Br-17) is 425 meters. About 38.6 kms of the entire project alignment is passing through tunnels and 90% of tunneling work has already been completed.
At present final lining has been completed in tunnel T-14 and is under progress in tunnel T-02, T-05, T-06, T-09, T-10, T-11 and T-12. Total 8.67 km (22.45 % of the total) lining has been completed till date. Work in all sections is being carried out round the clock 24×7. This is one of the prestigious ongoing National Projects in India and on completion of this project, first time the state of Sikkim will be connected via railways. This rail network on its completion is aimed to provide alternate connectivity to the state of Sikkim. At present all the activities related to construction of tunnels, bridges and station yards are going on war footing for early completion of the project.