The construction unit of Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has secured a ‘large’ contract for its heavy civil infrastructure business to deliver a rail project in Uttarakhand, India.

Awarded by Rail Vikas Nigam (RVNL), the contract involves delivering the Package 4 of the new broad-gauge track between Rishikesh and Karanprayag.

The company did not provide an exact value of the contract. However, according to its project classification, ‘large’ orders value between Rs25bn ($342m) to Rs50bn ($685m).

Under the contract, the company will undertake the construction of tunnels, formation, construction shaft and other ancillary works from chainage 47+360km to 63+117km, connecting Rishikesh and Karanprayag.

The project contains the construction of a 14.577km upline and 13.123km downline tunnel, with embankments of around 800m at both ends.

The company said that approximately 10.49km and 10.317km of the tunnel will be mined with two new tunnel boring machines (TBMs) of diameter 9.1m while the rest will be excavated by using the New Austrian Tunnel Method (NATM).

A 32m-deep ellipsoidal cum ventilation shaft in the completed 79m² cross-section will also be built.

The company claimed that this will be the largest TBM to be installed in the Himalayan region in India.

With the TBM-bored tunnel length of 20.807km, this will also be the longest for any project in the Himalayan region.

The entire project will be completed within 60 months.

L&T whole-time director and civil infrastructure senior executive vice-president SV Desai said: “Establishing a rail link between Rishikesh and Karanprayag will not only facilitate easy access to Uttarakhand’s pilgrimage sites, but also enable the development of backward areas, connect new trade centres, and serve the resident population.

“The railway line traverses rugged Himalayan terrains, with the alignment oriented across and sometimes sub-parallel to major thrust zones in the Himalayas with complex geological conditions.”

The company is also working to deliver the Package 2 of the project. It involves 24km of tunnelling by the NATM, minor bridges and formation works.

In a separate development, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Surat Metro Rail Project and Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II in the Indian state of Gujarat through video conferencing.