• youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Uttarakhand tunnel rescue: 67% of drillig completed, work to ‘begin on next phase soon’

The official announcement of laying a 39-meter pipeline was made in the earlier press conference.

Uttarkashi: As the rescue operations have intensified at the Silkyara tunnel collapse site in Uttarkashi where 41 workers remain trapped, about 67 per cent augur drilling has been completed with horizontal pipe being inserted up to 45 metres, an official statement said on Wednesday.

Former advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office, Bhaskar Khulbe on Wednesday said that work for the next phase will start in another two hours.

Khulbe who is also the Special Executive Officer in the Uttarakhand Tourism Department, said, “I am very happy to tell you that with the work we were doing for the last 1 hour, we have drilled another 6-meter length with an American Oger machine. I am hopeful that in the next 2 hours, work will start for the next phase.”

The official announcement of laying a 39-meter pipeline was made in the earlier press conference.

With 6 meters of additional pipeline, the total work of laying the pipeline up to 45 meters has been completed.

Gabbar Singh Negi and Sabah Ahmed, who are among the 41 trapped labourers inside the tunnel are boosting the morale of the others.

Yoga, Kirtan, walking and other activities are being made available to all the workers so that their morale remains uplifted.

NHIDCL has resumed horizontal boring from the Silkyara end to rescue workers using an Augur boring machine.

“As of date, 45 meters of pipes have been inserted,” an official statement said.

According to an official statement released by the government, the second lifeline for food distribution is functioning efficiently, ensuring an ample food supply like roti, sabzi, khichdi, daliya, oranges, and bananas in addition to the supply of medicines and other essentials like clothes such as T-Shirt, undergarments, toothpaste, soap etc.

“To give emergent safe passage to the rescue team, an escape passage by way of box culverts, and pipes for a length of 67 meters has been completed,” the government said.

For the purpose of vertical drilling, SJVNL’s machine for the vertical rescue tunnel construction has arrived at the site and has been installed.

The government said that ONGC is mobilizing machinery from the USA, Mumbai, and Ghaziabad for vertical boring.

Earlier on November 12, 2023, a collapse occurred in the under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot due to debris falling in a 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side.

The area of entrapment, measuring 8.5 meters in height and 2 kilometres in length, is the built-up portion of the tunnel, offering safety to the labourers with available electricity and water supply.

Five agencies–ONGC, SJVNL, RVNL, NHIDCL, and THDCL–have been assigned specific responsibilities, working collaboratively with occasional task adjustments for operational efficiency, the government said.