Explaining the delay in the ongoing rescue operation for 40 laborers trapped inside the under-construction tunnel which collapsed in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi, NHIDCL Director Anshu Manish Khalkho said the delay was due to the fragile nature of the location.
Khalkho said, “Where you feel the fragile nature and vibration needs to be taken care of equilibrium also has to be maintained. So this needs to be done very precisely/ We also have to take care of the morale of people trapped inside and as well as the rescue team outside.”
When asked about what time trapped laborers will be able to sustain, Khalkho said, “Without food, a man can survive for six days. Here food and water are provided so from physical health to mental health of the workers is fine. We are communicating with them, and now doctors from the administration have reached out to counsel them.”
During an earlier update, Khalkho said that rescuers have managed to drill through 24 meters into the rubble inside the Silkyara Tunnel, and are getting closer to 40 laborers who have been trapped inside, following the collapse of the under-construction tunnel for six days now.
“We have reached 24 metres inside which is a good situation. We are trying to reach the other end as soon as possible…We are airlifting another machine from Indore, it will reach here tomorrow morning…” NHIDCL Director Anshu Manish Khalkho said today.
The under-construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed in the early hours of November 12.
In a statement released to media on Friday, the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, the firm building the tunnel said that excavation with shotcreting (concrete spraying) for 40 meters of the collapsed tunnel is under progress and a cavity has been formed 10 meter above the crown at both left and right side, and a chimney formation has started along the tunnel.
An additional shotcrete machine has been shifted from RVNL Package-all to the work site, it said.
The 4531-metre Silkyara Tunnel is part of the Chardham Project of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to join the Gangotri and Yamunotri axis under the Radi pass area and is under construction by NHIDCL through Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd at a cost of Rs 853.79 crore.