Dehradun, Nov 13 (PTI) The company building the Uttarkashi Silkyara tunnel, a part of which collapsed trapping 40 workers inside, on Monday said it is planning to rescue the workforce with the help of a steel pipe just under a metre-long.
A portion of a tunnel under construction between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed in the early hours of Sunday.
NHIDCL, the firm building the tunnel, in a report released to media Monday afternoon said that while removal of loose muck continues along with shotcreting (concrete spraying) inside the tunnel, the strategy is to push inside a steel pipe of 900 mm diameter with the help of a hydraulic jack to evacuate the trapped workers.
A mild steel pipe is being brought from Haridwar with the help of the state government, the report by National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited said.
An expert team from the Irrigation Department is also coming to the site to assist in the pushing of the steel pipe.
The trapped labourers are continuously being provided with water, food, oxygen, and electricity inside the tunnel, in addition with small food packets pumped inside with compressed air through a pipe, said the government undertaking.
It said that trapped workers confirmed receiving the food items and said they are safe.
An additional shotcrete machine has been brought from RVNL Package-III to the work site, NHIDCL said.
Several officers, including geotechnical experts and engineers from the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited and the National Highways Authority of India have visited the collapse site to assist in the rescue work.
The 4,531 metre-long Silkyara tunnel is part of the Chardham Project of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and is under construction by NHIDCL through M/s Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd at a cost of Rs 853.79 crore.
The tunnel, once ready, will especially benefit the pilgrims providing an all-weather connectivity, shortening the distance to Yamunotri by 26 Km, and saving them an hour of travel along the steep and narrow mountain roads prone to landslides, the firm said. PTI ALM ALM VN VN