In a milestone achievement, the Sivok-Rangpo Rail Project has shown breakthrough of an Evacuation Tunnel with the Main Tunnel on 10th December, 2022. The first breakthrough in Tunnel No.11, located in Kalimpong district of West Bengal, was done in presence of Project Director, Chief General Manager and other officers of Ircon International Limited, Northeast Frontier Railway, Amberg Engineering (Detail Design Consultancy) team and construction agency ABCI Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. along with local administration.
The length of Main Tunnel is 3232 m and of Evacuation Tunnel is 960 m, located in between Tarkhola and Tumlangkhola in Kalimpong. The tunnel traverses through vulnerable and challenging geological conditions of the lesser Himalaya. Like all other tunnels in this Sivok-Rangpo Rail Project, to counter vulnerability of the groundmass, latest and most sophisticated tunnelling technology, i.e., New Austrian Tunnelling Method or NATM has been adopted. Not only the top class and well experienced engineers from India, but also the highly experienced foreign engineers are also involved in this project. The Evacuation Tunnel is connecting the NH-10 and the Main Tunnel No. 11.
This new rail link project is about 45 kms long and is characterised by 14 nos. tunnels, 13 major bridges, 10 minor bridges and 4 nos. new stations. About 38 kms of the entire project alignment is passing through tunnels and it is to mention here that 63% of tunnelling work has already been completed and 4 nos. tunnels have been through. At present all the activities related to construction of tunnels, bridges and station yards are going on war footing basis to complete the project by end of 2023.
With its completion, tourism and socio-economic development of the region will get a much needed boost. once operational, the project will prove to be important for connecting Sikkim with the rail network. People of the region will get long distance access across the country and uninterrupted supply of essential goods can be done to Sikkim to cater to the needs of the people.