Uttarkashi: A huge tension has come to light amid the efforts to rescue 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand. The workers have been stranded since November 12, when a part of the under-construction tunnel collapsed due to a landslide. The tunnel is being built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for the Char Dham project.
The rescue operation has been going on for the last 17 days, involving various agencies such as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), the Army, and the BRO. The rescue team has been trying to drill a hole through the debris to reach the workers, who are trapped at a depth of about 100 meters.
However, the rescue operation has faced many challenges and delays due to the tough terrain, the hard rock, the heavy machinery, and the technical glitches. The auger machine, which was used to drill the hole, broke down several times and had to be replaced. The manual drilling, which was started after the failure of the machine, has also been slow and difficult.
The weather has become an enemy in the way of saving the workers
Now, the weather has become an enemy in the way of saving the workers in Uttarkashi. On Monday, rain and snowfall started in Uttarkashi and other parts of the state, affecting the rescue operation. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the rain and snowfall are likely to continue till Tuesday, due to a western disturbance.
The rain and snowfall have increased the risk of landslides and avalanches in the area, which could hamper the rescue work and endanger the lives of the workers and the rescuers. The rain and snowfall have also reduced the visibility and the temperature, making the operation more challenging.
The weather has also affected the air traffic, as at least 16 flights were diverted to Jaipur, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, and Amritsar at Delhi Airport. The flights were supposed to carry some of the workers’ relatives and some officials to Uttarkashi.
The drilling work can be completed by tonight, as only 5 meters are left
Despite the adverse weather conditions, the rescue team is continuously working hard and drilling to save the 41 workers. According to the latest update, the drilling work can be completed by tonight, as only 5 meters are left between the workers and the rescue team. The rescue team has drilled a distance of 50 meters through manual drilling, using cutters and hammers.
The rescue team is in contact with the workers through a microphone and a speaker and has assured them that they will be out soon. The workers are also being provided with oxygen, water, and food through a pipe. The workers are said to be in good health and spirits and are eagerly waiting for their rescue.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said, “About 52 meters of pipe has gone inside, and about 57 meters of pipe has to be pushed inside. After this, one more pipe will be laid…first steel, etc. will be found. It was there, which has now been reduced. Now cement concrete is available which is being cut with cutters.”
The workers will be taken to the hospital by ambulance through the green corridor
The rescue operation is in its final stage and the preparations are being made to evacuate the workers safely. The first phase of the green corridor has started right in front of the tunnel, where the road is being repaired by adding soil and stones. The road is being repaired so that the ambulances can reach outside the tunnel and take the workers to the hospital.
The NDRF soldiers are also fully prepared for their role in the final phase of rescue. They have arranged stretchers, oxygen cylinders, first aid kits, and other equipment to assist the workers. The workers will be taken out of the tunnel one by one and will be checked by the doctors before being shifted to the ambulances.
The workers’ relatives and officials have also been instructed to be prepared for the reunion. The workers’ relatives have been waiting outside the tunnel for the last 17 days, praying for their safety. The officials have also been monitoring the rescue operation and providing all the necessary support and resources.
The workers will be taken by ambulance through the green corridor to the nearest hospital, where they will undergo further medical examination and treatment. The workers will also be counseled by psychologists to help them cope with the trauma and stress of being trapped for so long.