A total of 41 workers are trapped for over a week in a collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand and rescuers are working nonstop on different plans to evacuate them. Officials are now attempting to penetrate the tunnel vertically from the top to create an evacuation channel.
Meanwhile, all the trapped workers were served hot meals for the first time through an alternate six-inch pipe, which was also used to thread in an endoscopic camera to check on them and ensure their safety.
What are the five plans rescuers are working on?
- Vertical hole from above
A 1.2 metre-wide hole has been planned to be dug vertially from above the tunnel, which will be done for a distance of 90 metres to reach the workers. The responsibility for this operation was given to the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and the first machine to begin diggin has already reached the site. Two more machines are expected to reach from Gujarat and Odisha in next two-three days.
2. Horizontal boring using augur machine
The National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) team will recommenc it drilling from the mouth of tunnel from the Silkyara side after it hit a snag on Friday once it dug 22 metre through the debris.
3. Another horizontal drilling from the side
In order to prepare an alternate life-saving escape, the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) has been given the responsibility to carry out micro-drilling from the left of the tunnel. Machinery has been sent for this operation from Nashik and Dehi. This horizontal tunnel will be 1.2 metre-wide ad 168 metre long.
4. Another vertical tunnel from the top
The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has been tasked with digging another vertical tunnel at the end of tunnel at 2.3 km-mark from the Silkyara side. This tunnel will be nearly 325 metre deep and the macbines for this operation was brought from the US, Mumbai and Ghaziabad.
5. Rescue tunnel from another end of tunnel
A 483-metre-long yet narrower tunnel will be made throught the Barkot end of the tunnel by the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation using the conventional drill and blast method.