Thirty-Fourth Annual Meeting – Agra 2008 - Press Release

The International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association held its thirty-fourth meeting in Agra, India, from 19 to 25 September, in conjunction with the World Tunnel Congress 2008 "Underground Facilities for Better Environment & Safety" organised by ITA and the Tunnelling Association of India (TAI). 1’000 persons participated to the Congress. 38 of the 54 Member Nations participated or were represented in the General Assembly, including 1 proxy and 2 votes by correspondence.


South Africa, Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Korea, Denmark, Egypt, Spain, United States of America, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, United Kingdom, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Thailand, Turkey.


Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Indonesia, Iran, Iceland, Israel, Lesotho, Morocco, Mexico, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam.



M. Knights United Kingdom President Until 2010
A. M. Muir Wood United Kingdom Honorary President
H. Parker USA Past President Until 2010
P. Grasso Italy Vice-President Until 2010
E. Grov Norway Vice-President Until 2010
Y. Leblais France Vice-President Until 2010
I.-M. Lee Korea Vice-President Until 2010
S. Eskesen Denmark Until 2010
K. Fukumoto Japan Until 2010
I. Hrdina Czech Republic Until 2010
M. Thewes Germany Until 2010
V. Umnov Russia Until 2010
B. Yun China Until 2011
P.Kocsonya Hungary WTC 2009 Until 2009
F. Vuilleumier Switzerland Treasurer Until 2010
C. Berenguier Secretary General Until 2008


S. Calinescu Romania Internal Auditor Until 2009
D. Brox Canada WTC 2010 Until 2010


The Association has registered the membership of 2 new Member Nations, 28 new Affiliate Members (14 Corporate Members and 14 Individual Members); the total results to 54 Member Nations and 274 Affiliate Members (147 Corporate Members and 127 Individual Members) taking into account some resignations.


  • Acceptation of 2 new Member Nations, Kazakhstan and Peru.
  • Nomination of an Executive Director, Mr Olivier Vion (France) from January 1st, 2009.



In 2008, the annual issue with focus on India including the reports of 28 Member Nations, reports of İTA Prime sponsors and supporters has been published in July and sent to members as well as distributed to the participants to theWTC 2008 in Agra.


In 2007 / 2008, six issues of the ita@news have been sent. The ita@news contents news from the association, the WGs, the Member Nations, the forthcoming events, the sister associations, The ita@news is sent to 7’700 addresses and to the Member Nations and Affiliate Members.

Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology (TUST):

In 2007 (Volume 22), four issues of TUST + 1 double dedicated to trenchless technology were published, representing 678 pages. The issue 22-2 contain the recommendation of WG2 on “Settlement induced by tunnelling in soft ground”.

The contract with ELSEVIER terminated end of 2007. In 2008, ITA and ELSEVIER came to an agreement which allows ITA Members to access an electronic version of TUST (including archives). This subscription is paid by ITA.


The web site contains around 1 000 html pages and 900 pdf documents representing around 10,000 printable pages. The number of distinct visits is now around 28,000 per month, representing 530,000 hits per month. During the first half of 2008, the web site has been renewed including upgrading of Typo3, implementing of a new graphism and a new organization of the content. This new version of the web site is on line since September the 1st.

ITA – Reports:

Reports from ITA Working Groups will now be published by ITA under “ITA Reports”. The first report to be published will be “Guidelines for good occupational health & safety practice in tunnel construction” prepared by WG5.


During the Open Session, presentations were made by : A. Assis and J.M. Barros, Brazil on “An independant view of the Pinheiros Station Accident (Sao Paulo Metro) and lessons learnt for future contractual arrangements”; H. Ehrbar of Alp Transit Gothard, Switzerland on “Contract models in Underground Construction – Experiences from an owner point of view”; Y. Leblais, ITA Vice President on “Contractual practices worldwide – Engineering sector views”; C. Genschel from Bilfinger+Berger on “Contractual practices worldwide – Contactor’s View and Wishes”;A. Dix Animateur of ITA WG3 on “Contractual practices worldwide – Tailoring new contractual frameworks for the demands of the local market”; H.K. Sharma of Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd, India, on “Contractual practices in tunnel and underground works in India”; D.G. Kalkade of Jaiprakash Associates Ltd, India on “Contractual practices in tunnel and underground works in India”

The session presented a comprehensive overview of the different points of view concerning the contractual practices. Each actor of the underground works expresses its views and wishes and the way to improve the contractual practices. The lessons learnt in different cases are also very fruitful. Finally, a lively discussion took place between the different lectures and the audience.


Coordinated by D. Peila, Animator of ITA/AITES WG18 “Training”, P. Grasso, member of ITA/AITES Executive Council and Prof. Tiramamurthy, Chairman of the technical council of the ITA/AITES World Tunnelling Congress 2008.

200 participants, 40 of them outside India, attended to the training course. Reports were presented by 16 lecturers from 12 countries, 6 of them ITA Prime Sponsor, and 9 of them ITA animateurs or members of the ITA executive council. The high class lecturers gave 12 hours of excellent presentations about conventional and (especially) mechanized tunnelling in long and deep tunnel and urban areas, both from the theoretical point of view and with the discussion of many relevant case histories. Engaged discussions showed the high interest of the participants.