National Advisor Bureau Limited in UAE has proposed the Fujairah-Mumbai subsea tunnel project to connect India, China and Pakistan with the United Arab Emirates.
According to the Bureau, the project will have a number of benefits, among others the transport of passengers, tourists and workers between the UAE and India, as well as other Gulf Cooperation Countries.
It will also provide the opportunity to export oil & gas from Fujairah Port to India via a pipeline and possibly China and Pakistan.
The subsea tunnel will facilitate the transport of goods and commodities between both nations, as well as supply bunker fuel to ships passing between the floating pontoons via a floating bunker fuel station.
Eng. Abdulla Alshehhi, managing director of the National Advisor Bureau Limited, said: “The project, which is currently at the concept stage, is meant to connect the UAE and the other GCC countries for the first time with India via a subsea tunnel and an ultra speed subsea railway line, with the aim of improving the bilateral trade between the two nations.”
The concept of the tunnel is based on the technology applied to floating bridges, offshore structures and immersed tunnels.
The floating underwater tunnel may consist of two curved concrete tubes, submerged below the surface of the Arabian Sea. The submerged tubes would be stabilized by being attached to pontoons on the surface of the sea or by vertical tethers to the sea floor.
Provision can be made for enough gaps between the pontoons to allow ships to pass through. The tubes would be placed underwater, deep enough to avoid water traffic and weather.
Creating a vacuum inside the tunnel will result in tremendous speed for trains due to the minimal air resistance.
Future expansion of the project may include the One Belt One Road Initiative, linking the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at Gwadar Port with the UAE, and other GCC, via Fujairah Port to complement the Chinese silk road.
Future train stations may also include the port city of Karachi in Pakistan and Muscat, the capital city of Oman.
Furthermore, the plans may also include making provision for a road to be constructed within the floating tunnel for cars and truck transportation as well as a floating hotel, shopping centres and fuel stations in the middle of the Arabian Sea, where commuters can rest and shop.