UTTARKASHI, (Uttarakhand), Nov. 18, 2023 (TBINN)
Operation to rescue 40 labourers stuck in partially-collapsed Silkyara Tunnel Uttarakhand’s district of Uttarkashi has been suspended since yesterday when a U.S.-made auger machine deployed to drill and push in pipes developed a snag.
Another high-performance drilling machine airlifted from Indore in Madhya Pradesh has already landed at the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun and is being transported by road to Silkyara where it will be unloaded and assembled before being deployed for drilling, officials on the spot said.
By the time operation was halted on Friday afternoon, the heavy-duty auger machine had drilled up to 24 metres through the rubble spread over a 60-metre area inside the tunnel.
Around 2.45 P.M. on Friday, during the positioning of fifth pipe, a loud cracking sound was heard in the tunnel after which the rescue operation was suspended, a statement issued by the N.H.I.D.C.L. said.
The sound created panic among rescue team. An expert involved with the project warned about the possibility of further collapse in the vicinity. Subsequently, the pipe-pushing activity was stopped.
Nitably, tunnel is Central Government’s project being constructed under the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited.