Progress Made in Drilling Through Debris to Reach Trapped Laborers in Uttarakhand Tunnel

Laborers in Uttarakhand Tunnel

In Uttarakhand ,a group of 41 Laborers faced a perilous situation when a section of the passageway leading to the tunnel entrance collapsed on November 12. This triggered an urgent rescue mission that has now achieved significant progress, with heavy machinery successfully drilling through two-thirds of the rubble, as reported by authorities on Wednesday.

A press release from state authorities indicated that 39 meters of drilling had been completed rapidly using an Auger machine. The rescuers face a remaining distance of 60 meters of debris before reaching the trapped workers, according to earlier statements from authorities. Speaking to reporters, senior government official Dr. Neeraj Khairlanji expressed optimism, stating, “If there are no further hurdles, then maybe by later tonight or early morning, we may have some good news.”

The incident, which occurred earlier this month, left the laborers confined behind a pile of rubble with limited oxygen and water. Following the collapse, authorities established contact with the trapped men and launched a rescue mission involving local police, India’s Disaster Management Authority, and the State Disaster Response Fund.

A significant milestone in the operation was achieved on Monday when rescuers successfully inserted a 53-meter pipe through the rubble, enabling the delivery of the first hot meal, including lentils, water, medicines, and oxygen to the trapped workers. A second pipeline was subsequently put in place on Tuesday to provide additional food.

The tunnel in question is part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Char Dham Highway project, a substantial infrastructure initiative aimed at enhancing connectivity in Uttarakhand and facilitating improved access to important pilgrimage locations. Uttarakhand, known as “Devbhumi” or “Land of the Gods,” boasts a rich cultural heritage and numerous Hindu religious sites, situated amidst its mountainous and picturesque landscapes near the border with China.

Sumann Senguptaa

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