Thursday, December 7, 2023

Uttarkashi tunnel collapse: Rescue teams planning vertical drilling option


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Shillong, November 19: As the eighth day of rescue operations unfolds in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi, officials are considering vertical drilling from the top if the horizontal approach proves ineffective.

Simultaneously, hopes are pinned on the Border Roads Organization (BRO) completing a new road to the tunnel by Sunday afternoon, potentially opening an alternative route for reaching the trapped workers and resuming the halted rescue mission.

As per India Today, international tunnelling expert Professor Arnold Dix, en route to India, outlined his rescue plan during discussions with India Today. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and onsite experts are now working on five concurrent plans to expedite the rescue of the 41 trapped laborers. Despite the drilling resumption on Saturday, officials emphasize the importance of employing multiple strategies simultaneously for a prompt resolution.

Amidst the ongoing efforts, protests from co-workers point fingers at the construction company for the tunnel collapse, expressing frustration over the delayed rescue mission. The outlined strategies involve drilling from both Silkyara and Barkot ends, vertical drilling from the tunnel’s top, and drilling at a right angle. PMO officials assure the availability of ample resources, options, and ideas, with assistance from foreign consultants.

Identified and marked, a spot above the tunnel is designated for vertical drilling, with Uttarkashi District Forest Officer DP Baluni noting that the depth would be around 300-350 feet. A powerful drilling machine transported from Indore is being assembled on-site and is poised to continue drilling through the rubble, signaling a renewed push in the rescue operation.

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