International Workshop On Tunnel Construction Practices in the Himalaya
Department of Civil Engineering, Kathmandu University (KU), Hydro Tunneling and Research Pvt. Ltd (HTR), Department of Geosciences and Petroleum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Department of Energy Systems Engineering, Seoul National University (SNU) jointly organized an International Workshop on “Tunnel Construction Practices in the Himalaya” on 18th May, 2019 at Dhulikhel, Nepal. The workshop was associated with Nepal society for Rock Mechanics (NSRM) and International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM) and was supported by Energize Nepal.
The inauguration program was started with a welcome speech by Dr. Prachand Man Pradhan, Head of Department of Civil Engineering, Kathmandu University, and inauguration speech was delivered by Prof. Dr. Ramesh Kumar Maskey. The first session kicked off with keynote speeches by Prof. Seokwon Jeon, Seoul National University and Vice President for Asia, International Society of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, on “Brittle Failure due to High Stress”, and by Prof. Dr. Krishna Kanta Panthi, NTNU on “Planning and Design Aspects of Underground Works” respectively. It was then followed by the presentation of Mr. Nawaraj Sanjel, Act. Project Manager, about different types of projects funded by Energize Nepal. Then Dr. Pawan Kumar Shrestha, President of Nepal Society for Rock Mechanics, presented on “Role of National Society for Rock Mechanics (NSRM)” to promote Rock Mechanics and Engineering in Nepal. Dr. Shyam Sundar Khadka then briefly presented on a project entitled “Technical Investigation of Tunnel Support Technology of Hydropower Projects located in the Himalayan Region of Nepal”.
The technical session was chaired by Prof. Maskey. Seven papers were presented by different personnel from different organizations. Mr. Ram Hari Sharma from NSRM started this session with Brief History of Tunnelling. Mr. Subash Sunuwar from Nepal Tunneling Association presented Geo- Risk in Tunnelling in the Himalaya”. Similarly, Dr. Pawan Kumar Shrestha from HTR gave brief description on Tunnel Design: Practical Issues focusing the design of tunnel in weak rock mass. Mr. Tara Nath Sapkota from High Himal Hydro presented Risk Sharing and Contractual Issues in Tunneling. Dr. Chhatra Basnet presented on Design Issues in Unlined / Shortcrete lined high Pressure Tunnels. The last presentation of technical session was on Construction of Large Diameter Tunnels under Heavy Overburden in the Himalaya by Dr. Wesley Saleira from Fichtner.
Different queries related to technical sessions were taken in account for the discussion. It included the topics such as Tunnel Deformation Measurements, Importance of Geological Mapping in Tunnel Constructions, Estimation and Design of Tunnel Supports, Limiting Size of the Tunnels, Tunnels Junction Problems and Solutions, Twin Tunnels Criteria, Thumb Rule of Tunnel Dimensions and Design, Variation of Dimensions of the Tunnels, Methods for the measurement of in-situ site stress, Optimistic design guidelines and approaches. Prof. Maskey then provided the summary of the workshop and explained the inevitable role of this workshop in development of Tunnel Engineering in Nepal.
The workshop was successful in bringing the international level and national level experts, stakeholders and academics from tunnel and underground structures in a single platform. Their invaluable experiences and knowledge on the tunnel construction practices along with the existing issues and challenges were shared. This gave a new direction for further research and development in the tunneling sector.