Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand): The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has completed construction of a road near the Silkyara site to enable machines to pass through to rescue the 41 workers trapped for the past 11 days inside the 4.5 tunnel, a portion of which collapsed on November 12.
Major Naman Narula of BRO told ANI that the road construction work on the hill from the upper part of the tunnel to the marked place on the tunnel where the drilling work will be done has been completed.
"Around 1,200 metres of road has been constructed. Two drilling machine vehicles have also reached the tunnel site. We have constructed the track within 48 hours..." Major Narula said.
As per workers engaged in the road construction work, some light machinery has been moved up and efforts are on to make the roads deeper so that they can be used to transport heavy machines.
Lacchu Raut, a BRO worker told ANI, "Light machinery was moved up yesterday. The work of building a road on the hill above the tunnel is being completed. Today we will repair the road and make sure that there is no difficulty in moving the machines to the tunnel site."
The collapse occurred on November 12 during the construction of the tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot, and the debris that fell in a 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel trapped 41 workers.
A National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) official said that on November 12, the tunnel caved in and that the other Barkot side of the tunnel was already closed, as work on that side had not yet started.
On Tuesday, rescuers attempted 'horizontal drilling' and fed trapped workers with solid cooked food simultaneously.
A total of five agencies--Oil and Natual Gas Corporation (ONGC), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDCL)-- have been assigned specific responsibilities to evacuate the 41 labourers who have been trapped in the 2-km-built portion of the under-construction structure.
Meanwhile four ambulances are already at the site and 35 ambulances are on standby to shift the workers once they are rescued.
"At present four ambulances are present at the site and around 35 ambulances have been sent to the site from different districts. Due to lack of parking facility here, they will be parked at some distance and will be called to the site after being alerted four hours in advance," Naveen, the driver of the ambulance said.
The ambulances are equipped with facilities like oxygen ventilators and life support systems.
"Our ambulance has all kinds of facilities like oxygen ventilator and life support system. As soon as people are rescued from here, we will take them to the nearest hospital in our ambulance. At present it is being said that the trapped workers will be taken to the district hospital of
Uttarkashi, although this is not confirmed, as soon as the administration takes a decision and we get orders, we will shift all the labourers there," Harish, an ambulance staff said.