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Transport Secretary unveiled a 5-option action plan to rescue trapped workers

As rescue operations continued for the 8th day to save the 41 trapped workers at Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarkashi, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Anurag Jain on Sunday explained the decision to take up a five-option action plan.
▪︎ On November 12 it was reported that collapse occurred in under construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barko.t due to muck fallen in 60-meter stretch in Silkyara  side of tunnel.  After the incident, the State Government, and the Government of India mobilised resources immediately for rescue of the 41 trapped labourers. 
▪︎ It was decided to lay a 900 mm pipe through the muck as it was the best and fastest possible solution as per the experts’ advice.  
▪︎ However, on 17.11.2023, because of ground movement it became unsafe to continue with this option without securing the structure. Considering the lives involved, it was decided to move on all possible fronts together so that the workers can be rescued as early as possible.
▪︎ Five options were decided and five different agencies were detailed to carry out these options.  5 agencies namely Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Sutluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL), Rail Vikas Nigam Limited(RVNL), National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited (THDCL) have been assigned responsibilities. 
▪︎ The Government is keeping constant communication and making all efforts to keep up the morale of the labourers trapped inside the tunnel.  The area in which the workers are trapped is 8.5 metres high and 2 kms long. This is the built up portion of the tunnel where concreting work has been done providing safety to the labourers. Electricity and water are are also available in this portion of the tunnel. 
▪︎ For food, the workers are provided food items such as channa, murmure, dryfruits and medicines etc. through 4-inch compressor pipeline.
▪︎ NHIDCL is creating another 6-inch pipeline for food and drilling of 39 mtr out of 60 metre is completed. Once this tunnel is ready, it will facilitate delivery of more food items.
▪︎ RVNL has started working on another vertical pipeline for supply for essential items after the Border Roads Organization completed building an approach road in just one day.    
▪︎ NHIDCL will continue to drill from Silkyara end after working safety arrangements.  To facilitate this Army has prepared the box culvert.  A canopy framework is being made to ensure workers’ safety. Work of pipeline laying will recommence from Monday. 
▪︎ Further, Tehri Hydroelectric Development Corporation (THDC) shall start work of micro tunnelling from Barkot end for which heavy machinery has already  been mobilised.  THDC shall start the operation tonight itself. 
▪︎ Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) will do the vertical drilling to rescue the trapped labourers. Accordingly, equipment has been mobilized from Gujarat and Odisha through Railways as being 75-tonne equipment it could not be airlifted. 
▪︎ ONGC, having expertise in deep drilling,  has also started the initial work for vertical drilling from Barkot end. 
The government is committed to rescue all the labourers safely.


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