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Business News/ News / India/  Rescuers to use manual drift process for trapped workers
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Rescuers to use manual drift process for trapped workers

Auger machine debris removed; manual drilling of the passage to start soon

Five government agencies have been brought in to look at all options to rescue the 41 workers trapped in the Uttarkashi tunnel. (AFP)Premium
Five government agencies have been brought in to look at all options to rescue the 41 workers trapped in the Uttarkashi tunnel. (AFP)

New Delhi: After facing setbacks to the horizontal drilling of the tunnel, rescue operations resumed in full swing on the 16th day to save the 41 trapped workers at Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarkashi with all hope on manual drilling to reach the trapped labourers.

All the debris of the auger machine, which had been used for the last several days to create an 800 mm wide passage through the debris to reach the trapped workers, has been removed and the passage created by the auger will now be drilled manually for around 10 metres to reach the workers.

This exercise will start after clearance of the 800 mm rescue pipe. After visual inspection by welders it was found that the auger’s cutter had got entangled with the lattice girder bars which damaged a length of 1.5m of the 800mm wide passage. These lattice bars are now being cut.

Earlier on Monday, the auger machine was cut and removed by a plasma cutter.

“After clearance of 800mm rescue pipe from all the obstruction including stuck-up augers, manual drift procedure will be applied to clear the last few meters to access the other side," a government statement on the rescue operations said. Simultaneously, a drift tunnel is being created using Manual-Semi Mechanized Method by joint team of THDCL, army, Coal India and NHIDCL. Also, SJVNL’s machine for the vertical rescue tunnel construction has started its work and has already drilled over 30.8 metres or just over a third of the distance to reach the trapped workers.

THDC has also started to construct a rescue tunnel from the Barkot end, with six blasts already completed, resulting in a 12-meter drift. Three blasts per day are planned. RVNL is transporting machinery for micro-tunneling through horizontal drilling to rescue the labourers.

Five government agencies have been brought in to look at all options to rescue the workers. These include National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd (THDC) and Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) have been assigned one option each.

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Published: 27 Nov 2023, 11:12 PM IST
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