Rescue operations at the Silkyara Tunnel collapse site in Uttarkashi have intensified, bringing hope for the 41 trapped workers. The government is actively involved in the operations, ensuring the safety and well-being of the workers.
Significant progress has been made in the rescue efforts. NHIDCL, one of the government agencies involved, has successfully drilled a 6-inch diameter pipeline, providing a lifeline for the supply of essential items to the trapped workers. Freshly cooked food and fresh fruits are being delivered regularly through a 150 mm diameter pipe.
Communication with the stranded workforce has been established through video and direct communication lines. This connection helps boost morale and provides reassurance to the trapped workers.
NHIDCL has resumed horizontal boring using an Augur boring machine. Though encountered with a metallic object initially, it has been successfully cut using gas cutters, and the drilling will continue shortly. Additionally, a protective canopy for the drilling machine is being fabricated to ensure safety.
SJVNL’s machine for the construction of a vertical rescue tunnel has arrived at the site and is expected to start drilling soon. THDCL has also initiated horizontal drilling from the Barkot end, with several blasts already completed. Efforts are being made to carry out three blasts per day.
RVNL has brought in the necessary equipment for horizontal drilling, with completion expected by 24th November. ONGC has also reached the site with an air drilling rig machine and will submit a report after completing a field survey.
A joint team consisting of THDCL, the Army, Coal India, and NHIDCL is working on creating a drift tunnel inside the collapsed tunnel. Significant progress has been made in establishing a safe channel, with the Army mobilizing box culverts and starting fabrication work.
BRO has completed the construction of approach roads for various drilling operations and conducted geological surveys for ONGC. The agency has ensured access to the site by constructing a 300-meter access road.
It is important to note that the timelines provided may change due to technical issues, the challenging terrain, and unforeseen emergencies. Nonetheless, the government’s unwavering commitment and the collective efforts of the agencies involved bring optimism for the successful rescue of the trapped workers.