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Multipronged efforts stepped up to rescue stranded workers in Silkyara tunnel

Tuesday, 21 November 2023 | PNS | DEHRADUN

Efforts are underway on war footing to rescue the 41 workers trapped in the partially caved-in Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi district since November 12. On Monday, efforts were underway to drill through the debris to set a six-inch diameter and 53-metre long pipeline as a secondary lifeline to enable supply of proper meals and mobile phones among other items to the stranded workers. National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) director Anshu Manish Khalko informed that the installation of the secondary lifeline could be considered the first success in the nine days of the rescue operation so far. Efforts to rescue the workers will be stepped up further now, he said. The installation of the secondary lifeline has further increased the chances of the rescue operation being successful.

Meanwhile, International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association head Arnold Dix also reached Silkyara where he inspected the tunnel and the rescue operation underway. He said that experts aware of the Himalayan geology were working on site and that the team involved in the rescue operation is doing good work. Officials informed that horizontal boring by NHIDCL from Silkyara end for rescue of workers through Auger boring machine was scheduled to recommence on Monday evening. The first machine of SJVNL for the construction of the vertical rescue tunnel has already reached the tunnel site and operations are being commenced post completion of the access road by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Movement of two other machines for the vertical tunnel construction started from Gujarat and Odisha by road. In addition to this, work on construction of a rescue tunnel of 480 metres from the Badkot end of the tunnel by THDCIL has also commenced. The officials further informed that the machinery for micro-tunneling by RVNL through horizontal drilling for rescue of labourers is being transported from Nashik and Delhi. The machinery for vertical boring is being mobilised by ONGC from USA, Mumbai and Ghaziabad.

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