The first Sandvik DT922i, a computer controlled fully automatic tunneling jumbo, has been introduced by Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology in India with a vision to achieve high levels of safety, productivity and precise tunneling.
Tunneling for infrastructure projects is becoming more and more mechanized by use of TBMs and other methods. However, the Drill and Blast method is more flexible as it is easier to adopt to varying profile requirements as compared to a TBM, which gives a circular cross section, especially for railway tunnels, resulting in a lot of over excavation in relation to the actual cross section needed.
The first Sandvik DT922i machine in India was supplied to Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) appointed contractor, APCO Infratech. The advanced automated tunneling jumbo has been used to drill the first ADIT for access to the main tunnel, which is part of the 125-km Rishikesh–Karanprayag Railway line, for which the work began in 2019 and the entire line is expected to be operational by 2024/25.