States & UTs

    Silkyara tunnel collapse: 6-inch-wide pipe reaches trapped labourers; rescuers say now will go with 'full force'

    The Hawk
    November20/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Hope Dawns: Alternative lifeline breakthrough in Silkyara tunnel brings joy to trapped labourers; NHIDCL intensifies rescue efforts with new developments.

    Visuals from the spot

    Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand): A six-inch pipe has been laid at the Silkyara tunnel through which nutritious food and medicines could be supplied to the 41 labourers, trapped for over a week after parts of the under-construction structure collapsed following a landslide.
    The Director of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), Anshu Manish Khulko, said that the 'alternative 6-inch lifeline' reached the labourers after drilling 53 metres.

    He said that an atmosphere of joy erupted among the trapped labourers after they came to know about this breakthrough.
    "This 6-inch pipe is 53 meters long. This is a breakthrough for us. Apart from being an alternative lifeline, this will give us the facility that now we will be able to send both oxygen and food. And food which has nutritional value can be sent to the trapped labourers," Anshu Manish Khulko said.
    On his talks with trapped labourers after the installation of 6 inch pipe, he said, "A relative of Deepak Kumar, who is one of the trapped labourers, talked with them and he told me that there is an atmosphere of happiness among the workers inside the tunnel."
    On November 12, it was reported that a collapse occurred in an under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot due to a muck falling in the 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel, trapping 41 labourers.

    The NHIDCL Director said now the rescuers will go with full force to evacuate the labourers.
    "Earlier there was doubt that what would happen if the first lifeline was closed. But now that we have established an alternative lifeline, now we will go with full force," Khulko said.
    Meanwhile, two robotics machines-- One of 20 Kg and other of 50 Kg-- of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) arrived at the site.
    On the use of robotics machine from DRDO, the NHIDCL Director said, "An attempt was made to use that machine inside, but as I told you, the strata and ruble inside (the tunnel) are very loose, so it was not successful there."