The agencies engaged in the rescue operation are working on a war footing to rescue 41 laborers trapped in the Silkyara Tunnel of Uttarkashi. Today’s update on the 17th day of rescue is that the debris of the American auger machine has been completely taken out from inside the tunnel and now rat miners are digging beyond 45 feet using hands. After the failure of the heavy machines, now Rat Miners have been deployed to rescue the workers trapped inside the tunnel, who are a team of experts who dig fast in small spaces like rats. Now the lives of 41 tunnel workers depend on them. These people are doing further digging by hand for which they have hammer, crowbar and many digging tools.
41 lives lost due to rat mining
Now manual drilling is being done in the tunnel through Rat Miners technique. A team of 12 experts is engaged in this work, who is digging 24 hours a day on rotation basis. So far 1.9 meters of drilling has been done using this method. Now everyone’s hopes are pinned on these rat miners, although work on other plans is also going on. Vertical drilling work is also going on at a fast pace on top of the mountain. So far 36 meters of vertical drilling has been done through this technology.
What is rat mining?
This is a method of mining which is used to extract coal from narrow areas. The term ‘rat-hole’ refers to narrow holes dug in the ground. This pit is usually just for one person to descend and extract coal. Once the pit is dug, miners use ropes or bamboo ladders to reach the coal seams. The coal is then extracted manually using primitive tools such as picks, shovels and baskets.
Actually, there are many illegal coal mines in the Jaintia Hills area of Meghalaya, but due to being on the hills and avoiding carrying machines here, it is easier to employ laborers directly. Workers enter these mines lying down. Since workers enter these mines like rats, it is called ‘rat mining’. In 2018, when 15 laborers were trapped in a mine in Meghalaya, the same rat mining was resorted to.
How is rat mining being done?
- An expert will do the drilling
- the other will remove the debris with hands
- will pave a way forward
- The second one will load the debris into the trolley.
- Experts standing outside will pull the trolley.
- Will bring out 6-7 kg of debris at one time
- Excavation is being done by hand beyond 48 meters.
- Rat miners have hammer and crowbar
- Other traditional digging tools also
Which agencies are involved in the rescue?
Army Engineering Corps, Air Force, NDRF, BRO, Indian Railways, SJVNL, RVNL BSNL and SDRF.
However, the weather may cause some disruption in the ongoing rescue operation in Uttarkashi today because the Meteorological Department has issued a yellow alert for rain here today. Here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keeping an eye on the biggest rescue operation going on in Uttarkashi. The PM has appealed to the people to pray for the workers trapped in the tunnel. Prime Minister Modi was in Telangana yesterday where he also talked about the rescue of workers trapped in the tunnel of Uttarkashi. Appealing to the people, he said that we all should pray for the light to come into the lives of the workers trapped in the tunnel as soon as possible.
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