Uttarakhand tunnel collapse: 5 options on table, work stopped to save lives, says govt : The Tribune India

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Uttarakhand tunnel collapse: 5 options on table, work stopped to save lives, says govt

Uttarakhand tunnel collapse: 5 options on table, work stopped to save lives, says govt

A new auger machine arrives at the site where road workers are trapped in a tunnel after a portion of it collapsed, in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, on November 18, 2023. Reuters



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 18

The government on Saturday said drilling into the partially collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi was stopped to save lives as earth movement was detected when a US auger machine cut through the rubble to lay pipes and create an escape passage for 41 trapped workers.

In a late night statement, the Centre said five options had been finalised at a high-level meeting chaired by Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Dhami today and different agencies had been given the task of pursuing one option each. “After the incident on November 12, the state government and the Centre mobilised resources immediately. Senior officials from the NDRF, SDRF, NHIDCL, RVNL, SJVNL and the state government reached the spot immediately. It was decided to lay a pipe through the muck as it was the best and fastest possible solution as per experts’ advice. However, after an initial attempt to lay a pipe with an auger machine available with the state Jal Nigam, it was decided to get a bigger American auger machine, which was airlifted from Delhi with the help of the Air Force. Another auger machine was airlifted from Indore. However, on November 17, there was a sound of earth movement and sensors corroborated the movement of earth and it became unsafe to continue with this option without securing the structure. Considering the lives involved, it was decided to move on all possible fronts together...” sources said.

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