The Times of India | Aparajita Ray | TNN | April 29, 2016 |
Bengaluru: “She must be a visitor.” That’s the murmur she heard when Annie Sinha Roy walked into the construction site of Delhi Metro on the first day of her job. “There were about 100 men, most of them labourers and a few engineers. They thought I would not last long. There were no toilets, no place to sit and debris all around,” the country’s first and only woman tunnel engineer recalls. “After a couple of hours, I was standing in front of a huge machine that had to break the ground but it was stuck. A German engineer and my boss asked me to get inside it and open a nut. Even before I realized what I was doing, my face was gushed by hydraulic oil. The colleague said my face would glow for the rest of my life. Today tunnelling is my life,” says Annie, 35, ahead of the inauguration of South India’s first underground Metro rail on Friday.
In Bengaluru, she alone steered Godavari, the tunnelboring machine that recently finished boring underground from Sampige Road to Majestic. She calls it her tunnel because the machine had got damaged just when she joined as assistant engineer in Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) in May 2015. After that, she used to spend eight hours in the tunnel every day. “Sometimes when people see me with the helmet and jacket and learn that I work for Namma Metro, they would only ask when the work will get over,” she says. Recalling her long journey, she said she wanted to pursue her masters after completing degree in mechanical engineering from Nagpur University. – Courtesy