Nainital, November 20
The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday sought replies from the state government and central agencies within 48 hours on the ongoing operation and measures taken to rescue 41 workers trapped inside a partially collapsed tunnel in Uttarkashi for more than a week.
The court’s direction came on a PIL related to the rescue operation at the Silkyara tunnel. It was filed by Dehradun-based NGO Samadhan.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari and Justice Pankaj Purohit, while hearing the PIL, asked the state government to submit its reply to the court within 48 hours.
The high court has also issued notices to the disaster management secretary, public works department, central government, and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation.
The next hearing in the case has been fixed for November 22.
In its PIL, the NGO said the workers are trapped inside the tunnel in Silkyara in Uttarkashi district since November 12, but the government has been unable to rescue them.
It alleged that the government and the executive body are playing with the lives of the people trapped in the tunnel.
Every day experiments are being done for rescue operations but none have been successful so far, the plea stated. It was also demanded in the PIL that a criminal case be registered in the matter and it be probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
The NGO in its petition also noted that before such work of tunnel construction is undertaken, necessary rescue items such as pipes, generators and machines, should be provided.
The PIL alleged that at the time of construction of the tunnel, geological investigation of the area was not done properly.
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