SHAH ALAM: Tunnelling and underground works for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project are 60% completed and on track for its scheduled opening in July 2017.

“Our tunnelling [and underground] job is 60% completed. We are on track for the completion of the tunnelling work [portion] by July next year,” said MMC-Gamuda construction general manager Ubull Din Om at the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) on a training collaboration between MMC-Gamuda KVMRT (T) Sdn Bhd and Delhi Metro.

MMC-Gamuda was awarded the RM8.28 billion tunnelling and underground work package by the government to design and construct the underground works.

On current challenges in the tunnelling works, Ubull said there may be some leftover anchors that are slowing down the tunnel boring machines.

“You may have to stop [the machines temporarily] to remove the anchors from the basement of the building. These are all unforeseen — we will only know when it occurs,” he said.

On whether Gamuda is interested in seeking further collaboration or in bidding for more construction projects in India, Datuk Lin Yun Ling, group managing director of Gamuda Bhd said: “All options are on the table. We will look at them when the time comes and the opportunity arises.”

He said the company is also open to setting up a similar academy in India. “We will definitely be discussing this with Delhi Metro,” he said.

On the sinkhole in Jalan Bukit Bintang in front of Bangunan LTAT, Ubull said Gamuda had taken pre-emptive actions against similar future occurrences.

“We will make some side modifications to the machines to cater to these kinds of situations.

“These [problems] are unavoidable but we will plan ahead and put up contingencies,” Lin said, adding that buildings in the area are currently safe for occupation as most have solid foundations.

Ground treatment work was conducted to rectify the depression in the road, detected on May 6 due to a burst pipe, resulting in traffic diversion in the area.

“We have many instrumentations placed on the LTAT building to supervise it. Any settlement or movement, we will know in a split second as we have a 24-hour response team — engineers and professionals — to monitor it online,” said Ubull.

He said the company will continue to ensure adequate protection of the ground. “We do a lot of routing, to seal up any cavities you have underneath.”  

The MoA aims to develop the tunnelling competency of Delhi Metro engineers from India via the Tunnelling Training Academy (TTA) set up by MMC-Gamuda in December 2011. Engineers from Delhi Metro will be sent for customised theoretical and practical tunnelling training courses at TTA.

So far, 508 local trainees have been trained by the academy. It aims to train up to 1,000 by 2017.

“We are pleased that TTA’s niche tunnelling training programmes are in high demand by foreign rail owners such as Delhi Metro. We have taken note that the city of Delhi, along with many other booming cities in India, is experiencing rapid growth in mass urban rail transportation as a solution to its traffic congestion.

“Our strategic cooperation with Delhi Metro will enable us to support the urgent need for trained workers in underground tunnel construction in Delhi, where such specialised training facilities are not currently available,” said Ubull.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 6, 2014.

Business & Markets

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>