Thursday, July 25, 2024

NHIDCL Expects Completion of Vertical Drilling in Uttarkashi Tunnel by November 30 for Trapped Workers’ Rescue

Mahmood Ahmad, Managing Director of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), announced on Monday that the vertical drilling work at the Uttarkashi tunnel, where 41 workers are trapped, is scheduled to be finished by November 30.

Speaking at a press conference in Uttarkashi, Mahmood Ahmad provided an update, stating, “We have completed around 30 meters of drilling. The current machine can drill around 40-45 meters. We have brought two more machines for this purpose, and SJVNL has brought those machines. Changeover machines will take time. We are expecting the vertical drilling work to be completed by November 30.”

Prayers were offered at the main entrance of the tunnel as rescue operations continued to free the trapped workers.

Neeraj Khairwal, Secretary of the Uttarakhand Government, shared that Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), PK Mishra, emphasized monitoring the health of the trapped workers. “Principal Secretary PK Mishra from PMO paid a visit. He said that safety and security are important. Care should be taken of people stranded inside, and their health should be monitored,” Khairwal stated.

A delegation led by PK Mishra, along with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Uttarakhand Chief Secretary SS Sandhu, inspected ongoing rescue efforts inside the tunnel. PK Mishra also spoke with the trapped workers and their families.

Micro tunneling expert Chris Cooper provided an update, mentioning that debris from the auger machine has been cleared, and manual drilling to reach the trapped laborers is set to commence in a few hours. The workers have been trapped inside the tunnel since a portion of it collapsed on November 12.

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