Uttarkashi: In a major breakthrough, agencies working round the clock to rescue the 41 workers trapped inside a partially collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district, have installed a six-inch pipe into the debris. This pipe will help the authorities to provide solid food items to the trapped workers and ensure better communication. Anshu Mansish Khalkho, director, NHIDCL, told the media that rescue workers were able to communicate with the workers through the newly installed pipe.
“We have achieved our first breakthrough, for which we had been trying for the last nine days and was our first priority. A 6-inch pipe has been installed and they (trapped workers) can hear us through it. We will now provide them with food and medical supplies through that pipe,” he said.
The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) is one of the several government agencies working on the mega rescue operation.
DRDO sends in robot
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has pressed two robots into the operation.
“DRDO has sent 2 robots weighing 20 kg and 50 kg respectively. The robots move on the ground. The loose ground there has raised apprehensions whether the robots will be able to move there or not. Other machinery will be there within a day or two,” he added.
He said the Border Road Organisation is constructing roads wherever necessary.
“BRO is constructing roads wherever necessary on this end and the Barkot end. Roads are ready on both sides, now we are waiting for the machinery. The machines are very heavy, they cannot be airlifted,” he added.
‘Uttarkashi rescue operation in advanced stage’
Uttarkashi district magistrate Abhishek Ruhela said on Monday that the rescue operation is in the advanced stage.
“It is in the advanced stage, official information will be out soon…The most important thing is to make an approach road through BRO and we are hoping that it finishes by tonight or early morning tomorrow from this end and the action will begin soon,” he said.
The authorities had been sending inside the tunnel dry-fruits, water and medicines via four-inch pipes. The bigger-diameter pipe will help them send in solid food.
DRDO’s Robotics Machine Team reached the site on Monday morning.
The agencies are also attempting to drill into the tunnel perpendicularly.
In this portion of the tunnel, electricity and water are available.
The tunnel, part of the Central government’s ambitious Char Dham project, collapsed on November 12, entrapping 41 workers inside.
With inputs from PTI, ANI
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