As the Uttarkashi tunnel rescue operation enters day 16 on November 27, prayers are being offered across the nation for the safe rescue of the 41 trapped workers. Devotees in Haridwar lit 21,000 lamps at Har Ki Pauri and prayed for the labourers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi.
— ANI (@ANI) November 27, 2023
Notably, A portion of the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi caved in on November 12, the debris falling in the 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel trapped 41 labourers inside the under-construction structure.
Vertical drilling, one of the several chalked-out options to bring out 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel was started on November 26 afternoon.
The National Disaster Management Authority Member, Lt General (Rtd) Syed Ata Hasnain said that 86 meters of vertical drilling is required to reach the crust of the Uttarkashi’s tunnel where 41 workers remained trapped.
Addressing a press briefing in New Delhi on November 26, NDMA Member Syed Ata Hasnain said,” Our Plan 2 has been currently adopted. The drilling machine reached yesterday. Vertical drilling started at around 12 noon today and 86 meters of vertical digging is required to reach trapped workers.17 metres of drilling has already taken place. We have done geological studies and studies are suggesting that there might be no obstruction. We are checking the stability.”
NDMA member further informed that Plan 3 of the sideways drilling has not been started yet.”Our plan 3 (Perpendicular, covering 170 metres) has still not been adopted. The machine for sideways drilling is expected to reach the Silkayra tunnel rescue site during the night,” he said.
Notably, Plan A to rescue the trapped soldiers was halted because a part of the Auger machine broke and was stuck in the debris.
“The Auger machine itself has had a bit of an accident. A portion of it (has actually) broken, and that broken portion has to be pulled out (of the escape pipe),” Hasnain told media. Meanwhile, As per an official statement, freshly cooked food and fresh fruits are being inserted inside the tunnel at regular intervals using the 2nd lifeline (150 mm dia.) service.
“Sufficient fruits like orange, Apple, Banana etc., along with medicines and salts has also been supplied in this lifeline in regular interval. Additional Dry Food is also being supplied for future stock. A modified communication system with wire connectivity developed by SDRF is being used for communication regularly. People inside have reported that they are safe,” the government said.
(with inputs from ANI)