Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand): Efforts to rescue trapped 41 workers in the ongoing Silkyara tunnel collapse received a brief setback when the piling machine being transported for the rescue operation got stuck due to the narrow road leading to the spot.
The traffic has come to a halt on both sides of the main road.
"Due to the narrowness of the road leading to the tunnel and landslides occurring at various places on the way, the machine going to participate in the rescue operation got stuck, and traffic came to a standstill on both sides," the truck driver carrying the piling machine stated.
At present, efforts are being made to widen the road so that the machines can be mobilised on the spot.
Meanwhile, more 900 mm pipes have been brought near the Silkyara Tunnel to reach the trapped workers who have been declared safe.
Earlier, in a major breakthrough in the ongoing Silkyara tunnel collapse rescue team officials have successfully developed audio-visual communication with the trapped workers through the 6-inch pipeline on Tuesday morning.
The rescue team was seen clearly talking to the workers trapped in the tunnel through the pipeline. The rescue team requested the workers to come in front of the endoscopic flexi camera which was inserted through the pipeline. A worker took out the camera from the pipeline and held it inside the confined space so that everyone could be identified.
The collapse occurred on November 12 during the construction of a tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot, trapping 41 labourers due to a muck fall in a 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel. The workers are believed to be trapped in a 2 km-built tunnel portion, which is complete with concrete work that provides safety to the workers. This portion of the tunnel has access to electricity and water.
Multiple agencies are working on the rescue efforts with the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) teams continuing the drilling effort from the mouth of the tunnel. The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) is working on another vertical pipeline for the supply of essential items.