During interaction with Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, PM Modi emphasised that the workers will be evacuated safely with mutual coordination between central and state agencies.
Uttarkashi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took stock of the rescue operation of the Uttarkashi tunnel collapse incident during a telephonic conversation with Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. PM Modi assured that all necessary rescue equipment and resources will be arranged by the Central government. The statement from PM Modi comes as 41 labourers have been trapped in the Silkyara tunnel since November 12 after part of the tunnel collapsed.
In a statement, Uttarakhand CMO said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami. PM took information about the ongoing relief and rescue operations of the workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi. PM Modi said that necessary rescue equipment and resources are being provided by the Central government.”
PM Modi also emphasised that the workers will be evacuated safely with mutual coordination between central and state agencies. PM Modi said, “There is a 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 national 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.
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.
(With inputs from ANI)