Digging deeper into tunneling cooperation

There has been a lot of activity recently in the field of tunneling cooperation and knowledge sharing between Norway and India. Earlier this month, another high level delegation visited Norway, this time from the Indian Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL) on a week-long study trip.

NHIDCL is a three-year old Indian government owned company and is mandated to create infrastructure to connect the far flung and treacherous parts of India. Tunneling is an important aspect of infrastructure creation in this kind of terrain. Some parts in the upper Himalayan region of India are very similar to the Norwegian geography and Norwegian tunneling methods can serve as a useful example to pursue. 

During the study trip, the Indian delegation found the Norwegian way of investigations done prior to the commencement of a project the most impressive. In Norway, for each project, a provision of 4-5% of the total project cost is allocated to the pre-commencement investigations of the area, thereby limiting the chance of failure. While currently in India, this expense is much less, thereby leading to a lot of surprises during the execution of projects which have an effect on their outcome. Therefore, sometimes, the expenses end up being much more than in Norway for the same size of a project.  

The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), which had organized this study trip, showed the Aerial Electromagnetic Measurement for geo-surveys to the delegation. This is a highly sophisticated technique with very accurate results currently being used in Norway. NGI also showed 3D drawings of rugged land mass by using drones and the modern and sophisticated NGI labs where all the research is conducted for projects.  

The Indian delegation also made visits to various establishments in tunneling and underground works, including the world’s largest underground stadium at Gjøvik which opened in 1993 and hosted the winter Olympics in 1994. 

Indian side wanted more Indian companies to come and learn tunneling and underground works from Norway in general and NGI in particular. As a next step, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between NHIDCL and NGI that will create scope for more delegation visits.  

Embassy’s commercial section, Innovation Norway has also been presenting Norwegian expertise in tunneling and underground works and will continue leading the way in this field.

Photo one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewknots/

Photo two: Indian delegation at the underground stadium in Norway.