(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail) has assured that the operation of tunnel boring machines (TMBs) deployed for the Doha Metro project will not pose any safety hazard to people and establishments above ground.
"Before any tunnelling work begins, pre-condition surveys were conducted by Qatar Rail on buildings along the route. Key monitoring points were installed and actions were taken to ensure that all works are carried out under the safest conditions," Qatar Rail deputy CEO Hamad Ibrahim al-Bishri said.
Speaking to Gulf Times yesterday, the official said the TBMs, operating 20m below ground, will not interfere with activities above the surface.
"Qatar Rail has conducted geo-technical surveys on the locations where TBMs will be operating, which allows us to have an idea what to expect during excavation works," al-Bishri said.
This was corroborated by Qatar Rail CEO Saad Ahmed al-Muhannadi, who observed that "technical hitches, which cannot be avoided while implementing such a huge and complex project, can be dealt with in an efficient, effective, and timely manner."
Qatar Rail managing director Abdulla Abdullaziz al-Subaie also announced that Qatar Rail has received all the 21 TBMs needed to complete the Doha Metro project. Of the 21 TBMs, al-Subaie said 17 have started tunnel boring operations.
"Keeping our residents and citizens' convenience in mind, Qatar Rail was keen to implement most of the metro project underground where TBMs interfere very little with the vibrant city life through advanced technology and eco-friendly mechanism," he stressed.
Al-Subaie said TBMs are a key component in implementing the Doha Metro project, and are "high-tech mechanised alternatives" to conventional methods of design-and-build mining, drilling, and blasting tunnels.
According to al-Bishri, the TBMs, which were imported from German manufacturer Herrenknecht AG, can drill right below city streets, "practically unknown to the crowd above."
"They are ideal for long lengths of uninterrupted tunnelling, as required by the Doha Metro project. Having limited environmental footprint, the machines have very little impact on the infamously high water levels that lie beneath Doha.
Dust pollution associated with construction sites is virtually non-existent as all work takes place 20m below the surface."
Al-Bishri added that the Doha Metro project uses 7m diameter TBMs that can produce a tunnel with a diameter of 6.7m. Concrete linings would be used to reinforce the tunnel, which could fit the trains and side platforms.
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