Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand): Amid the ongoing efforts to rescue the 40 workers trapped in the Uttarkashi tunnel, a portion of which caved in earlier, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami reached the scene to review the ongoing rescue and relief operation.
They were accompanied by Uttarakhand Chief Secretary SS Sandhu at Silkyara.
Speaking to ANI about the ongoing relief and rescue operations, CM Dhami said, "We are working on all the possibilities available. All types of expert teams are working here..."
CM Dhami said that the state government is ready to provide all the help required to the agencies involved in the rescue operation.
"Saving everyone's life is our first priority... For this, the state government is ready to give all the help required to all the agencies... I will pray to God that they get rescued sooner, as their trouble is increasing with each passing day...," CM Dhami said.
On Saturday, Deputy Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, Mangesh Ghildiyal, also visited the incident site to take stock of the situation. A former advisor to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) also took stock of the relief operations at the under-construction Silkyara Tunnel located at the Uttarkashi-Yamnotri road.
The local administration informed on Saturday that it would deploy a tree-cutting expert as part of the ongoing efforts to extricate 40 workers trapped inside the tunnel for seven days now.
A tree-cutting expert, Ashiq Hussain, was called by the Forest Department to the tunnel site, officials said on Saturday.
Officials added that they were trying to reach the workers through vertical drilling from the upper part of the tunnel.
"We were trying to reach them horizontally, now we will also try vertically. A spot right above the tunnel has been identified and marked. A hole will be drilled from there to reach there. The depth of the hole would be approximately 300-350 feet... The horizontal attempt of rescue would also begin from Barkot end of the tunnel," said Uttarkashi DFO DP Baluni.
Also, on Saturday, Chris Cooper, a micro-tunnelling expert, arrived at the Silkyara tunnel incident site to monitor and oversee the rescue operation.
The under-construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed in the early hours of November 12.