Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse: According to Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain of the National Disaster Management Authority, the new five-point rescue plan for the 41 men stranded in an Uttarakhand tunnel is centred on the horizontal drilling that will construct a shaft, he told reporters today. But he wouldn’t give a deadline for the rescue.
“This is not an easy challenge, so we are exploring every option. All the teams are working on it, that is the only assurance I can give. Can’t establish the timeframe,” he said.
He emphasised that the priority at this time is “saving lives” by stating that a tunnel-boring machine is being utilised from the front and that they are also attempting to use blast to extend the opening of the tunnel in order to introduce a micro-boring machine inside.
However, he promised that the guys, who have been stuck in the tunnel since a landslip on November 12, won’t be in any danger as a result of the delay.
“There is sufficient water and oxygen inside. Power and ration were made available,” he said.
“There’s ample space inside. There is approximately 2 km space. Lighting is available inside. A 4- inch pipe was available which didn’t get destroyed so we had a lifeline,” he said at the press conference. Air compression was used to force survival ration via this pipes. He claimed efforts had been made to promote medicine.
The families of a few workers have also been included in order to guarantee the emotional health of the workers. “The families have been accommodated in the hotels in a built-up area. In one or two cases, they were even able to talk through it… the more the families talk to them, the better morale will be,” he said.
A section of the 4.5-kilometer tunnel on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri National Highway collapsed, trapping the men. The tunnel is a component of the Char Dham project and is intended to connect Silkyara and Dandalgaon in Uttarkashi.
The workmen, who escaped unharmed, are behind 200 metres of rocky debris in a 400-meter buffer zone. They are receiving food and water packages via a conduit.
The workers had their first hot meal in days yesterday, thanks to the installation of a bigger pipe. Bottled khichdi was forced through an air compression pipe.