In a major breakthrough in the Uttarkashi tunnel rescue mission, a six-inch pipe has been successfully installed at the Silkyara tunnel, enabling the delivery of essential nutritious food and medicines to 41 trapped laborers who have been stuck for over a week following the collapse of parts of the under-construction structure due to a landslide.
Anshu Manish Khulko, the Director of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), described the installation of this ‘alternative 6-inch lifeline,’ reaching the laborers after drilling a 53-meter stretch. He highlighted the elation among the trapped workers upon learning about this development.
“This 53-meter-long 6-inch pipe is a breakthrough for us. It not only serves as an alternative lifeline but also allows us to supply both oxygen and nutritious food to the trapped laborers,” stated Anshu Manish Khulko.
After conversations with a relative of Deepak Kumar, one of the trapped laborers, Khulko reported a sense of happiness prevailing among the workers inside the tunnel following the installation of the pipe.
The incident on November 12 involved a collapse in the under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot, trapping the 41 laborers due to falling debris in a 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side.
Khulko assured that with the establishment of this alternative lifeline, rescue operations will proceed with full force, removing any previous doubts about the repercussions if the initial lifeline were to close.
Additionally, two robotics machines, weighing 20 kg and 50 kg respectively, from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) arrived at the site. However, attempts to use these machines inside the tunnel were unsuccessful due to the loose rubble and unstable conditions within.
(Inputs from ANI)