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Yamunotri tunnel collapse: Efforts underway to rescue 40 workers, Disaster Management Secy takes stock

Uttarkashi, Nov 14 (IANS) Relief and rescue operations are underway after a portion of an under-construction tunnel on the Yamunotri National Highway in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district on Sunday collapsed due to a landslide. Nearly 40 workers have been trapped in the tunnel.

The tunnel is a part of the Char Dham project and is supposed to connect Silkyara to Dangalgaon, reducing the distance between them by at least 25 km when completed.

State Disaster Management Secretary Ranjit Kumar Sinha on Monday reached the spot after the landslide and took stock of the situation.

He said that all the workers are safe, adding that food, water, and oxygen are being supplied to them through pipelines.

It may take one to two more days to rescue the 40 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel, he added.

To take out the workers from the tunnel, an auger machine has been ordered from Dehradun. Till the auger machine arrives, the help of JCB and other machines is being taken to remove the debris, Sinha said.

Boring will be done with the auger machine, and pipes of two and a half feet diameter will be laid, through which all the workers will come out. This work may take one to two days. At the place where the workers are, there is enough oxygen for about five to six days. Apart from this, oxygen is also being supplied through pipeline, he said.

Uttarkashi SP Arpan Yaduvanshi said that the rescue operation is going on. Teams of all agencies and technical experts have reached the site. Out of 60 meters of debris, more than 20 meters of debris have been removed. The family members trapped in the tunnel have also been contacted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Monday and inquired about the workers trapped in the tunnel. The Chief Minister told the Prime Minister that various state and Central agencies are engaged in relief and rescue operations with mutual coordination and promptness.

The Chief Minister said that he himself visited the spot and conducted an on-site inspection and is constantly monitoring the rescue operations. Arrangements have been made to send large diameter hume pipes from Haridwar and Dehradun for rescue operations, he told Prime Minister Modi.

The Chief Minister said that all the workers trapped inside the tunnel are safe and efforts are underway to get them out soon.

Also, a committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of the Director, Uttarakhand Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre to study and investigate the causes of the landslide that occurred in the tunnel.

The committee will collect and examine samples of the debris and will also examine the condition of the mountain on the upper surface perpendicular to the landslide zone in the tunnel and submit a report.



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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