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Drilling Work To Rescue Trapped Workers Stalled

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 18, Nov 2023, 11:27 am IST | UPDATED: 18, Nov 2023, 11:27 am IST

Drilling Work To Rescue Trapped Workers Stalled

New Delhi: The rescue operation to reach the 40 workers stuck inside the Silkyara tunnel has hit a roadblock on Saturday, as the drilling machine could only bore 25 metres into the debris, a senior official said. The workers have been trapped for six days, since November 12, when a part of the tunnel under construction collapsed on them.

Anshu Manish Khulko, director of the tunnel-making company, NHIDCL, told news agency ANI over the phone that the drilling work has been put on hold for now. He denied that there was any problem with the machine, but did not give any reason for the suspension of the work. He said that the work of laying a pipeline to rescue the workers had been going on for the last three days, but only 25 metres of it had been completed so far.

khulko also said that the managing director of NHIDCL is expected to arrive at the site on Saturday and will give more details after reviewing the situation. On Friday, the Auger machine used for drilling stopped working after it encountered a rock face.

However, it resumed working in the afternoon. Another heavy-duty drilling machine, which was brought from Indore in Madhya Pradesh, is likely to reach the site later on Saturday. The tunnel, which is being built between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway, caved in early in the morning on November 12.

According to a statement issued by NHIDCL on Friday, the company building the tunnel, the excavation with concrete spraying for 40 metres of the collapsed tunnel is in progress and a gap has been created 10 metre above the top at both left and right side, and a chimney formation has started along the tunnel. The statement also said that an additional concrete spraying machine has been shifted from RVNL Package-lll to the work site.

The 4531-metre Silkyara Tunnel is a part of the Chardham Project of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and will connect the Gangotri and Yamunotri axis under the Radi pass area. The tunnel is being constructed by NHIDCL through Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd at a cost of Rs 853.79 crore.

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