Chennai Metro Phase II: TBM Anaimalai Records First Breakthrough At Venugopal Nagar On Corridor 5


The Chennai Metro Rail’s Phase II project achieved the first tunnel breakthrough at Venugopal Nagar station on Wednesday (7 June) after completing a 415-metre-long tunnel on the Up line between Madhavaram and Venugopal Nagar.

The tunnel boring machine (TBM), nicknamed, Anaimalai, launched its drive on 16 February 2023 from Madhavaram Milk Colony Station to Venugopal Nagar Shaft, covered a bored tunnel length of 415 m and break-through at shaft on 7 June.

TBM Anaimalai after breakthrough

Madhavaram -Venugopal Nagar section is a part of corridor 5 (Madhavaram to Sholinganallur – 44.6 km) of the Phase II project that runs for 116 km.

Of the two tunnels to be built for Madhavaram Milk Colony – Venugopal Nagar stretch, while TBM Anaimalai has completed its task at Venugopal Nagar, the other TBM Servarayan has completed 50 m tunnel on Down line and is expected to break through on 25 August.

TBM Anaimalai was manufactured by the world renowned Australian TBM company Terratech and shipped to the Chennai Port by Tata Projects Limited from China.

Phase -II

Under Phase-II, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is building three more corridors of metro rail for a total length of 116.1 km at a cost of Rs 61,843-crore.

  • Corridor 3: Spanning across the north to south direction of the Chennai city, the 45.4-km Corridor 3 runs between Madhavaram Milk colony and SIPCOT. It has a total of 28 underground stations and 19 elevated stations.
  • Corridor 4: The 26.1-km east west alignment will run from Light House station to the Depot at Poonamallee and will have 9 underground stations and 18 elevated stations.
  • Corridor 5:  Starting at Madhavaram Milk colony, the 44.6 km Corridor 5 connects through Koyambedu, Porur, Alandur to Shollinganallur with 6 underground stations and 39 elevated stations.
Map of Chennai Metro Rail Project Phase – II (CMRL)

23 TBMs

A total of 23 TBMs will be used for building 42.6 km of underground tunnels in Corridor 3, 4 and 5 of phase-II. These TBMSs includes new TBMs imported for the works and TBMs remanufactured in India.

All machines deployed in the phase II project are named after a mountain, river or a flower.

These TBMs shall be launched and retrieved multiple times till completion from the shafts at various locations. Out of total 23 TBMs, 13 TBMs arrived at locations wherever required for launching purpose. The balance 10 TBMs will progressively arrive and start tunnelling operations.

The tunnel construction for the first 9 km underground section of Corridor 3 from Madhavaram Milk Colony to Kellys is also being executed through Tata Projects limited and mobilized 7 TBMs for the works.