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World Tunnel Congress 2008 - Underground Facilities for Better Environment and Safety - India

Construction of diversion tunnel for Sewa H.E.Project - A case study

R.K. Khali
Gammon India Limited, Mumbai, India

SYNOPSIS: Sewa Hydroelectric Project (120 MW) is located in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. J&K region is situated in foot-hills of Himalayas. This paper is a case study and deals with planning process and various construction features of a 298 m long 6 m horse shoe shaped concrete lined tunnel. This tunnel though not very long in length had typical design having two horizontal bends. Tunnel was passing through granite stone and having seepage at various locations. The tunnel was bored by conventional drilling and blasting method by using full face method. 1. INTRODUCTION The most striking feature of this project is its Diversion tunnel, which is awarded to Gammon India Limited in Lot SW-1 works. Owner of the project are National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Faridabad. Tunnel construction The contract for construction of Diversion Tunnel was awarded to Gammon India Limited. The scope covers the Boring, Overt and invert lining and construction of intake structure for diverting the Sewa River. This was very fast track structure and we have completed the job ahead of time schedule thus achieved first milestone, despite several difficulties. The Diversion Tunnel with inner diameter 6m and a length of 298m was constructed by using convention drill and blast method. The local progressive loosening can be limited by employing careful excavation methods and timely installation of support elements. The support elements are shotcrete, welded wire mesh, rock bolts, steel ribs, fore poling, precast lagging. The adequacy of the support elements can be assessed by 3-D logging. Permanent rock supporting system adopted was tensioned rock bolt/Rock anchors (34m long) and shotcreting of varying thickness from 50mm to 100 mm. Overt and Invert concrete provided of 300 mm thickness. Initially boring was done from inlet only since access was not there for outlet. Later to expedite the day lighting of Diversion Tunnel pilot tunnel was bored from outlet by lowering the bench and doing manual operations. Pilot boring from outlet was done for 13m length

Situated in a lush green valley of Sewa river, a tributary to mighty Ravi River, the Sewa hydroelectric project has got following main structures. (i) The 53m high concrete gravity dam near village Gatti aims at generating 120MW electricity. This is to divert the water into power house through a water carrier system consisting of:

(ii) 10.02km m long Head Race tunnel of 3.30m Horse shoe including under ground pressure tunnel-3nos with 2.4m in dia, 380m long and vertical pressure shaft 622m with surface penstock length of 175m. (iii) A diversion tunnel 6m dia and 298mm long was constructed on right bank to facilitate construction of Diversion Dam. Diversion tunnel was designed to take even the flood discharge. (iv) Surface power house with three turbines of 40 MW each and 100.5m x 22m x 49m in size. (v) A typical orifice type spillway with 4bays of 7m x 10 m and 46 m width. (vi) Intake tunnel 3 m dia D shaped, 2nos 153m and 130 m long with Desilting chamber 2nos dufour type 95 m long, width 8 m and depth varying from 10.7 m to 11.2 m. Layout of the Project is shown in Figure 1


U/s Cof f er Dam

Proposed Sewa Dam

Earthen Bund

Sewa Riv er

Intake Tunnels

3 4 5 6 7 8 Adits to Diff. GOC

Sewa Riv er

Silt flushing Tunnel


Diversion Tunnel 280m

Adit-3 Adit-1
Desilting Chambers




HRT 10.02 KM Long General layout of Sewa H.E.P LOT SW-1

Figure 1. General layout of Sewa H.E.P. LOT SW-1

and successful day lighting was done ahead of schedule. Since the strata of tunnel in most part was Class-II and self supported rock, emphasize was given on drilling and blasting pattern for smooth profile. 1.1 Geology along tunnel alignment After studying a number of alternative layouts the final alignment of tunnel was fixed on Right bank of Sewa River, a tributary of Ravi River. Tunnel is passing through massive to blocky, moderately to widely jointed augen/granitic gneisses with subordinate bends of schists and phyllites,rock cover varying up to 70m.The Diversion tunnel is aligned along the strike direction of foliation. The entire length of Diversion tunnel covers 80% classII and 20% class-III rocks with RMR varying 62 to 72. Seepage within 50-100 Lit/min observed during excavation.

Tunnel boring was earlier planned by using 2 boom drill jumbo and Aliva Shotcrete machine. Later conventional drill and blast method adopted for boring. Drilling was done by jack hammers by using wedge cut pattern with an advance of 2.5m per blast (Fig. 2). 1.2 Survey and profile marking Keeping the fact in mind that tunnel is concrete lined so shape was to be maintained to have good profile and to keep a check on over break. Meticulous survey was done after each blast and profile was marked properly in the minimum excavation line in hard strata and modified the drilling pattern. As a result we achieved accuracy for maintaining centre line and limiting the over break much below then admissible over break 7%. Distomat, theodolite, lazer beam analyser and total stations were used to keep the alignment in order. Photograph shows excellent profile of tunnel.


Photo 1

1.3 Drilling Drilling activity was the most critical activity since the rock encountered was very hard and only one face was available for boring. Consumption of drill rods was bit high. Drilling and blasting pattern as adopted is shown in Fig 2. This was concluded after number of trials. Blast hole drilling was initially planned by drilling jumbo but later changed to high speed jack hammers Atlas Copco make. Actual penetration achieved on this rock was 0.25m/min. Maximum pull in hard rock strata was achieved 2.8m. It was decided not to drill holes more than 10 depth to avoid wastage of time and money. We had assumed average life of drill rod in tender as 200m but actually achieved at site was only 180m. Grinding of drill rod was very important in this type of rock. Electric cup type grinder was used and performance of this grinder found very satisfactory. To minimize the cost, rebitting of drill rod was done locally and this experiment proved very successful. Photo 2 shows the Diversion Tunnel Portal: 1.4 Charging & blasting Charging pattern was in accordance with the wedge cut, drilling and blasting pattern. Only modification

in charging was that two numbers primers were used in cut holes. Due to hard rock, power factor was also high. It was varying from 1 to 2 kg/m3. Power gel 901 explosive with long delay detonators were used (Fig. 2). 1.5 Cycle time and sequence of operation Sequence for boring in hard strata was as under :
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Survey and profile marking Drilling Charging & blasting Defuming Scaling/Mucking and bottom cleaning 0.50 hours 2.00 hours 1.00 hours 0.5 hours 4.5 hours 2.5 hours

Rock support/Shotcreting

Total cycle time Add for unforeseen

11.00 hours 1.00 hour 12.00 hours

As explained earlier drilling was done by Atlas Copco make jack hammers.


Photo 2. View of diversion tunnel portal

Figure 2. Blasting pattern adopted for diversion tunnel

1.6 Defuming Defuming system at this site was working all right. Sucking system ventilation was adopted and proved

to be effective. Two units of 45kWx02, having dia .750mm fans were installed at portal with 1000 mm dia flexible duct.


1.7 Mucking Selection of plant was very important for this activity. Various methods were considered like Loader and dumper Excavator (crawler type) and dumper Scoop tram and Ajax flouri dumper

utilized. This water jet applied using nozzle of 6mm dia. Application of shotcrete Shotcreting was done inside tunnel by using Aliva shotcrete machine. The concrete mixed outside tunnel in concrete mixer installed at platform/batching plant and shall be transported in 2 cum Ajax flouri make concrete transit mixer. The mix was kept ready as mucking cycle is completed. The shotcrete machine is being mounted on a truck chassis which is quickly moved inside the tunnel and connected and driven inside tunnel immediately after the scaling and washing of surface is completed. Accelerator was used in desired quantity. 2.3 Steel ribs with backfilling Initially after opening the face at inlet rock strata encountered in layer of clay and, it was decided to use steel ribs at 100 cm c/c with precast concrete lagging and backfilling up to 25m advance. Ribs were used at outlet also in last 20m area since rock cover was less. 3. METHODOLOGY LINING FOR CONCRETE

Scoop tram (Wagner)-Atlas Copco make model 57-2D- 3nos and Ajax flouri dumpers-4nos was a good option but because of shortage of time and delay in delivery time we could not use this combination. Finally Ck-72 excavator with 10nos 10T tippers were used for mucking operation. 2. TUNNEL SUPPORT SYSTEM

Faces in tunnel have been supported by minimum recommended support element of the rock class. The following support system adopted at site . 1. Rock Bolts. 2. Shotcreting with wire mesh. 3. Steel ribs with backfill concreting 2.1 Rock Bolts Extensive rock bolting was carried out simultaneously with face drilling. TMT bar 25mm dia used for making rock bolts in the length of 2m, with 2 numbers quick setting type resin capsules and two numbers cement capsules. Cement and resin capsules were inserted in to the holes and rock bolt was inserted in to the hole with the help of rock bolter. Rock bolt was kept free after inserting for 10 min for setting and then using torque wrench tensioned rock bolt. These tensioned bolts were tested at 10MT load by pull out test machine. 2.2 Shotcreting Shotcreting in tunnel is done along with advance as temporary support. Depending upon the strata the thickness of shotcrete was varying from 50 to 100 mm. Surface preparation: In order to have better bonding of shotcrete & filling of crevices all lose shall be scaled out first manually using crowbar and then with high pressure jet. Water pump kept to supply water for drilling

Overt Single telescoping gantry was used for overt lining (Photo 2) i.e. one gantry per day. Step by step methodology proposed is as under : Removal of bottom muck and casting of Kerb simultaneously with overt. Shifting and pulling gantry shutter Alignment of gantry. Concrete pouring

3.1 Removal of bottom muck and casting of Overt with Kerb Bottom cleaning is being done by drilling and blasting, using jack hammer and rock breaker or conventional method and removal of muck is done by using excavator and 10T tippers. Quantity of concrete involved in one gantry of 6m is 50m3


Photo 3a. View of erected telescoping gantry for overt lining

Photo 3b.

approx., so cleaning is proposed up to required level and Kerb casting activity is proposed to be started along with overt immediately after bottom cleaning. 3.2 Shifting and pulling gantry shutter Prefabricated overt gantry erected immediately after cleaning and arrangements made for traveling the gantry shutter on rail by casting 1ft wide concrete strip along the length of tunnel for rail fixing. Telescoping gantry is used for this work with

traveler. Total weight of gantry shutter is approx. 25MT for 6m length. Gantry to be operated with the help of hydraulic jacks and turn buckles and then laying of 90 lbs. rail is proposed as per length of gantry shutter and alignment. Pulling of gantry was done by hydraulic system mounted on gantry. 3.3 Alignment of gantry shutter (Photo 3b) Cleaning of gantry shutter is done by water jets and oiling of the complete surface is then carried out by


using 15litre capacity spray gun. Alignment of gantry shutter by fixing in position is done by using total station. Then fixing of bulkhead and concrete pump in position and checking of shutter vibrator is done before pouring concrete. 3.4 Concrete pouring (Photo 4)

completed as per programme. Photograph shows the completed view of Diversion Tunnel lining (Photo 5). 4. GROUTING

After completing the concrete lining consolidation grouting was done to fill the voids/ shrinkage gap between overt and rock surface. This was done successfully with the help of Colomono grout pump

Photo 4

3.4.1 Overt concrete Concrete pouring is then carried out by using 4 nos 6m3/hour capacity mini batching plant, Greaves concrete pump 20m3/hour and Ajax flouri transit mixer 2m3 capacity were used for transportation of concrete from batching plant to inside tunnel at gantry shutter. Concrete quantity involved per gantry is 50m3 approx. Cycle time for concrete is fixed12 hours, so per hour concreting pouring rate was 8m3. After completing the gantry concreting dismantling of all pipes and cleaning of all equipments is done, which were used for concreting. Curing of concrete was done time to time as per requirement. 3.4.2 Invert concreting After completing overt, invert concrete started from outlet to inlet. Invert executed per day 25m using invert template and concrete pump and work

with a pressure of 2kg/cm2 keeping in view the localized condition and geology of rock from place to place. 5. DIFFICULTIES IN CONSTRUCTION

Construction of Tunnel in such remote location was a challenging task. Following difficulties faced during construction. 5.1 Project roads At the time of handing over road condition was very bad and maintenance was very poor. Initially trailers could not be sent to site. Therefore heavy machines like excavators etc. were dismantled and transported to site where they were reassembled. This resulted in loss of time. Being road in hilly region of young Himalayan Mountain it was prone to land slide. During monsoon season road were blocked because of landslide and would remain closed for days together which affected supplies of


Photo 5. Completed view of diversion tunnel lining & view of river diversion through diversion tunnel

essential material like cement, steel, Explosive, POL and eatables. Land slide on roads used to be so bad that at times road remained totally cut off for more than 10days thus even eatables were in short. Considerable time was lost due to poor condition of GREF road and of few accidents occurred during construction. 5.2 Extreme weather Work was executed in extreme weather conditions, highest temperature recorded was 420c during summer and lowest temperature was (-) 10c during winter. Around 30 cm snow fall recorded during winter. All necessary steps were taken to tackle the situation of extreme weather. 5.3 Rock slide from 200- 500m and above Due to earthquake prone area there was always a fear of sliding of rocks from the area 200-500m above the portal at inlet and outlet face. Heavy rock fall occurred once, as a result all equipments, compressors, light vehicle parked near portal and adit-1 location got partly damaged and some workers were also injured. List of earthquake recorded in the region is as under: 1. 2. 3. The earthquake of 6th June, 1828, magnitude of 6* The Earthquake of 1863, magnitude of 7* The Kangra earthquake of 4th Apr, 1905, magnitude of 8*

4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

The Chamba earthquake of 22nd June, 1945, Magnitude of 6.5* The Anantnag earthquake magnitude of 5.5* of Feb1967,

The Gilgit earthquake of 3rd Sep, 1972, Magnitude of 6.2* The Kinnaur earthquake of 19th Jan, 1975, Magnitude 6.2* The Daharamsala earthquake of 26th Apr, 1986, Magnitude of 5.5*

*Richter Scale Proper care was taken to stabilize the loose boulder at the probable loose fall locations by providing masonry walls and putting joists in vertical position above masonry. 5.4 Non-availability of power Construction power was not made available for execution of job. DG sets of 0.5MW capacity were deployed for power production at Diversion tunnel. However NHPC has arranged power from Chamera-1 grid for their colony lighting purpose. 5.5 Non availability of area for infrastructure No space was available for infrastructure at site. Benches were made on the hill with the help of dozer and slopes were protected with the help of gabions and masonry walls and foundations were made for installing batching plant, compressor,


transformers, etc. Lot of extra efforts done for initial mobilization. 5.6 Size of tunnel, steep slope and storage of seepage and rain water at face Due to small size of tunnel and steep gradient it was difficult to plan the proper equipment to be used inside tunnel. After going through plant directories 10Ton dumpers and Ck-72 excavator were selected for working inside tunnel for removing the muck. Even these equipments could not perform well on down gradient. 6. DEWATERING

successfully diverted the Sewa river in one season for facilitating construction of dam. For the first time in India in a Hydropower Project river diversion achieved in a short period of eight months i.e. first mile stone achieved even after initial delays. Major Diversion works in the project began in end Mar. 2004 and finished by Oct. 2004. Commissioning of a Diversion tunnel in such a short time is unbelievable but possible. Proper construction planning of each activity of Diversion tunnel has paved way for faster construction. Team work, proper co-ordination/co-operation and dedication of Gammon, Satav and NHPC engineers is the key to this success. In view of the above, experience re-established the importance of the following : Availability of proper approach roads to all faces. Availability of working area near all faces and proper dumping yard. Timely supply of construction material. Accuracy in alignment. survey to ensure correct

Since tunnel was bored in down gradient from one face only we faced serious problem for dewatering. There was continuous rain for 3 days and entire rain water accumulated inside. Seepage also increased at different RDs, dewatering was done by using higher capacity pumps in different stages. In down gradient deep sump were made at 50m intervals and dewatering pumps were installed as shown in figure. 7. SAFETY

Compared to other construction activities tunneling operations are quite hazardous and chances of minor and major accidents are more during execution. Utmost precaution was taken for safety of men, machinery, structure and property during drilling and blasting, mucking, rib erection, electric installations and concreting, as a result there were no accident inside the tunnel. 8. SURVEY

Selection of proper method and selection of correct type of plant and equipment. Meticulous materials. planning of manpower and

This tunnel was bored from inlet and lately from outlet also so setting out tunnel alignment was an important factor. Accurate centre line survey was done using total station, distomat and theodolite. Points were fixed at inlet face and outlet face locations. There were two horizontal bends in this tunnel. Ordinates were plotted properly and central line checking was done after each blast. As a result we have achieved one centimeter accuracy at meeting points. 9. CONCLUSION-THE SUCCESS STORY

Observing all safety norms and allowing only skilled and trained workers to work. Stress on good quality work, especially for concrete lining work.


Mr. R.K. Khali graduated BE-Civil with First Class from Bangalore University, Bangalore. DCSM from NICMAR, EDP-Construction Management & Project Management from NITIE Vihar Lake, Mumbai. He has more than 17 years experience in Himalayan region. Presently he is working as a Deputy General Manager and published more than 12 papers in National and International Technical Media. He is recipient of International Professional of the year award-2005 from International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England.

The construction of Diversion Tunnel at Sewa H.E. Project is unique where meticulous planning for boring and concrete lining was done well in advance as a result we have started concrete lining after 10days of day lighting the tunnel and