Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a telephonic conversation with Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and sought details about the ongoing relief and rescue operations of the workers trapped in the under-construction Silkyara tunnel, a portion of which collapsed on November 12 in Uttarkashi, Chief Minister’s Office said on Monday. The Prime Minister said that the necessary rescue equipment and resources are being provided by the Central Government. The rescue operation entered its day 9 today as efforts to bring the 41 workers trapped in the debris are underway.
“The workers will be evacuated safely with mutual coordination between central and state agencies. There is a need to maintain the morale of the stranded workers,” the CMO said.
Heavy machines arrived at Silkyara tunnel as a rescue operation to bring out the stranded victims is underway this morning.
International Tunneling Expert arrives at the site
President of International Tunneling Underground Space Professor, Arnold Dix arrived at Silkyara tunnel and offered prayers at a temple that is built at the main entrance of the tunnel. He lauded the operations underway and said that the work being done is “systematic” and all those trapped will be taken out.
“We are going to get those men out. Great work is being done here. Our whole team is here and we are going to find a solution and get them out. A lot of work is being done here. It is important that not only the men rescued but also the men who are rescuing are safe. The whole world is helping. The team here is fantastic. The plans are looking fantastic. The work is very systematic. The food and the medication are being provided properly,” Dix said.
Preparations for providing workers food enhanced
In order to better deliver food and water to the workers trapped in the tunnel, instead of the 4-inch pipeline, a 6-inch pipeline was laid for around 40 meters.
Officials asked to submit report to PMO
The former advisor of PMO Bhaskar Khulbe and Deputy Secretary of PMO Mangesh Ghildiyal appealed to all the concerned departments involved in the rescue operation (RVNL, Navyug, ONGC, State PWD, BRO and THDC) and asked them to provide the final report on progress in the rescue operation by this evening.
“Instructions have been given to the rescue team to complete the rescue operation of the workers trapped in the tunnel as early as possible. Former advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office, Bhaskar Khulbe and Deputy Secretary in PMO Mangesh Ghildiyal gave strict instructions to the rescue team. Bhasker Khulbe, Dy Sec Mangesh Ghildiyal and Secretary Disaster Management Ranjeet Sinha have left for Dehradun,” Dr Neeraj Khanna, Secretary Nodal said.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on November 19 conducted an on-site inspection of the operations. He was accompanied by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari during his visit to the tunnel site.
(With ANI inputs)