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Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse | PM Modi Speaks To CM Dhami, Takes Stock Of Situation; Vertical Drilling To Begin

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New Delhi/ Uttarkashi, Nov 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had a telephonic conversation with Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and discussed the ongoing operations to rescue the 41 workers who have been trapped since last week in the collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi.
In a statement by the Uttarakhand Chief Minister's Office (CMO), PM Modi said that Central Government is providing the necessary rescue equipment and resources and that the workers will be evacuated safely with mutual coordination between centre and Uttarakhand government.
The PM added that there is need to maintain the morale of the stranded workers.
Early this morning, heavy machines were seen arriving at the Silkyara tunnel on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri highway collapsed that had collapsed in the early hours of November 12.
The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) is all set to initiate work on a vertical pipeline to provide essential items, facilitated by the completed approach road by Border Roads Organisation in just one day.
Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) is also all geared up for vertical drilling for which equipment was mobilized from Gujarat and Odisha through Railways as the 75-ton equipment could not be airlifted.
Secretary, Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, Anurag Jain had on Sunday said that a five-point action plan to rescue the trapped workers.
National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHDCL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited (THDC) and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) have been assigned one option each.The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the construction wing of the Indian Army have also been assisting in the rescue operation.

The plan involves drilling operations from three sides of the tunnel, there will be a vertical drilling operation from the top of the hill under which the workers are trapped. Also, efforts will continue to drill horizontally through the debris blocking the tunnel at the Silkyara side. There is also an operation to drill a small tunnel from the Barkot side will also begin.
Neeraj Khanna, Secretary Nodal, speaking on the rescue operation said that instructions have been given to the rescue team to complete the rescue operation of the workers trapped in the tunnel as early as possible.
Former advisor to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Bhaskar Khulbe and Deputy Secretary in Prime Minister's Office Mangesh Ghildiyal also gave strict instructions to the rescue team.
Bhasker Khulbe, Deputy Secretary Mangesh Ghildiyal and Secretary Disaster Management Ranjeet Sinha have left for Dehradun, according to the Secretary, Nodal.
The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) is currently working on a 6-inch pipeline for food supply, having completed drilling 39 meters out of the 60-meter target, an official statement said on Sunday.
The former advisor of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Bhaskar Khulbe and Deputy Secretary of PMO Mangesh Ghildiyal on Sunday appealed to all the concerned departments involved in the rescue operation.
According to an official release, NHIDCL will resume drilling from the Silkyara end after ensuring safety arrangements, with the Army preparing the box culvert to facilitate this operation.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami reached the scene to review the ongoing rescue and relief operation.
On November 12, it was reported that a collapse occurred in under under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot due to a muck falling in the 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel.
After the incident, the State Government and the Central government mobilised resources immediately for the rescue of the 41 trapped labourers.
Earlier during the rescue operation, efforts were made to lay a 900 mm pipe through the muck, deemed the fastest solution per expert advice. However, on November 17, due to ground movement making the structure unsafe, this option was abandoned in favour of exploring alternative strategies to expedite the rescue mission.
In order to maintain the morale and safety of the trapped labourers within the 2 km built tunnel section, concrete works were completed, ensuring their safety and essential supplies such as channa, murmure, dry fruits, medicines, electricity, and water were provided in this section through a 4-inch compressor pipeline. (Agencies)

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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