The old Pakuria Bridge in Jharkhand, India, ran over a dry river bed and railway line situated 20 km from Culcutta. Now obsolete, the bridge has been brought to the ground in 60 days using Volvo construction equipment.
West Bengal in eastern India is the nation’s fourth most populous region, boasting more people than the whole of Germany. The state is bordered by Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and five other states of India with more than 91 million inhabitants spread over 34,267 m2. So many inhabitants has inevitably resulted in heavy traffic surrounding the state capital, Culcutta – so much so that the Indian government is trying to demolish old structures and invest in modern infrastructure to ease congestion.
The Dhankuni-Kharagpur highway is about 23km from Culcutta, and runs for 80 miles –terminating at the fast-growing industrial town, Dhankuni. Since demolition work began on the one-kilometre stretch of bridge, 30 out of the 32 sections − each spanning 26 meters – have been demolished and disposed of. It took just two months to take down and clear away the remnants. Mumbai-based Matte & Associates – a construction and demolition company – and Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is responsible for the bridge’s quick demise. Matte & Associates is among the leading demolition firms in India, with a string of high profile accomplishments under its belt.
The company was established in 1987 and over the past 10 years has expanded into residential, waterproofing, structural repairs, rehabilitation and drilling works. Today, the company has a fleet of specialized demolition tools and specializes in the demolition and recycling of concrete.
The company’s demolition squad includes four heavy-duty Volvo CE excavators; an EC210 B-Series, EC210 B-Prime, EC290 B-Series and EC290B-Prime. They have been hard at work for nearly five years, demolishing bridges, multi-storied buildings, roads and other structures across the country.
Volvo CE’s EC210 and EC290 C-Series excavators are set to thrive in India’s popular 21 and 30 tonne excavator market. The C-series offers more powerful Tier III compliant Volvo engines, delivering exemplary fuel efficiency. These machines produce high power (110kW/150hp in the EC210C, 153 kW/208 hp in the EC290C), and the engines work in harmony with intelligent, advanced hydraulics and a more rugged undercarriage and superstructure. Also, the operator’s environment, already class-leading with the B-series, has been substantially upgraded with a new cab, giving operators more comfort, more space, better climate, better visibility and improved controls that are easier to use.
“Today, the machines are still in excellent working condition, just like they were five years ago,” says Mr. Ram Matte, owner of Matte & Associates. “Every job we undertake presents tough challenges and calls for solid planning, and innovative thinking. We took the bridge down so quickly that if people weren’t already familiar with it, they would never know it even existed. Our Volvos have helped ensure that. Any demolition equipment must deliver on safety, comfort, reach, power and control to make a difference. In fact, the first two – safety and comfort – are critical because demolition is a hazardous business. The Volvo CE demolition excavators B-Series and B-Prime deliver on all counts.”
“Volvo CE excavators take extremely demanding demolition tasks in its stride,” adds Matte. Our business is all about clearing things up quickly with minimum fuss and stress. The machines feature demolition-grade hydraulics, a robust under-carriage system and spacious operator cab.”
Matte & Associates has a maintenance plan with Volvo CE dealer Svenska Technologies Pvt Ltd., which takes care of its servicing issues. The company is proud of the relationship it has with Volvo CE and values its support.
“Volvo is Volvo – there is no comparison,” says Matte. “We really couldn’t have hoped for better service and from Day One of our demolition operations, we have relied on Volvo and it has they have delivered. Only recently, we have placed an order for another Volvo EC290 B-Series excavator.”
Matte & Associates was among three contractors shortlisted for the prestigious Demolition & Recycling International World Demolition Awards in the Civil Category 2011 – the first and only Indian demolition company to achieve this. “If you ask me, pulling down structures is twice as hard as putting them up,” says Matte. “But when you have a couple of Volvos around, they can make it look like child’s play.”
Picture 1: The Volvo EC290B effortlessly demolishes the concrete
Picture 2: The bridge is gone in 60 days