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Uttarakhand: Workers trapped in the tunnel will have to wait longer, NDMA member said – ‘The rescue operation may take a long time’

Image Source : INDIA TV
During the press conference, National Disaster Management Authority member Lt. General Syed Ata Hasnain

New Delhi : The rescue operation being carried out to rescue the workers trapped in the Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, may take a long time. This was said by the members of the National Disaster Management Authority. General Syed Ata Hasnain said in a press conference in the capital Delhi. He said that it is a matter of relief that he is talking to all the workers who are stranded there. Those people are fine. He said that there have been some obstacles in the rescue operation. We are trying to go up to 62 meters into the debris but the machine has stopped after 47 meters. Now there is more cutter work left there. So that the cut part can be taken out, manual work will be done after that. He said that one machine has been airlifted by the Indian Air Force. He says the 6 inch pipe is working.

Work will not be done as fast as before

He said that now the work will not be done with the same speed as it was being done earlier. Because earlier drilling was being done through machines, but now it will be done manually. We will try to dig from above also. For this, it will have to be covered for 86 meters, after which it will be straightened and moved forward. Currently two methods are being used but it is possible that a third method can also be used but it is not clear.

Fighting with the mountain, time line cannot be told

He said that earlier the media itself was estimating how many days it would take, we never said how many days the rescue operation would take. This is a kind of battle which has to be won. You are fighting a mountain, there is no time line to tell when it will be completed.

Uneasiness among family members increased due to obstruction in rescue operation

As the rescue operation faces hurdles one after another, restlessness and despair are increasing. Conversation between the stranded workers and their relatives is taking place through a six-inch wide pipe. An endoscopic camera has also been inserted through this pipe, which allowed rescue workers and relatives of the trapped person to see the situation inside. The rescue team is now trying to insert a wide pipe between the debris to make a way out for the trapped workers.

Consider other options

Drilling in the broken part of the tunnel was stopped from Friday as the auger machine is facing one hurdle after another. A tunnel expert present at the spot said on Saturday that the machine was broken. Rescuers are now exploring other options such as hand-drilling the remaining 10 to 12 meters or creating a vertical passage for the 41 workers trapped inside. A part of the tunnel being built on the Chardham Yatra route had collapsed on November 12, due to which the workers working in it were trapped on the other side of the debris. Since then, various agencies have been carrying out rescue operations on a war footing to get them out.

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