The team of rescue workers has made significant progress in drilling through the rubble at Silkyara tunnel, where 40 labourers have been trapped for five days since the collapse of November 12.
Working tirelessly with a powerful machine overnight, the rescue workers have reached a depth of 25b metres, and they aim to drill up to 60 meters to create an escape passage for the trapped labourers.
National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) Director Anshu Manish Khalkho stated that the workers would insert 800 mm and 900 mm diameter pipes consecutively with the help of a giant drill machine. The ongoing efforts involve meticulous drilling to navigate the debris accumulated 270 meters from the tunnel's mouth at the Silkyara side.
Uttarkashi District Magistrate Abhishek Ruhela assured that the trapped workers are safe and receiving essential supplies such as oxygen, medicines, and food and water through pipes. Continuous communication is maintained to uplift their morale during the challenging rescue operation.
Union Minister of State of Road Transport and Highways, VK Singh, visited the site to assess the ongoing operation. Singh stated that the collective efforts of the government, agencies, and experts aim to complete the rescue within two to three days. The trapped labourers, confined within a 2-kilometer space in the debris, are being provided with necessities through a pipe.
Singh emphasized the high morale of the workers, acknowledging the collaborative efforts to expedite the rescue operation. The deployment of a new, more powerful machine and international expert assistance underscores the commitment to a swift and successful rescue mission.